Summer time, and the living is easy. Here's a fast and easy dinner that the folks at Bertolli shared with me. Burrata isn't easy to find in our corner of the city, so we substituted fresh mozzarella, and it was just fine; the recipe creators also suggest full-fat ricotta cheese. And again, the tomatoes in the recipe are on the vine — not so easy to find in our part of the world unless you grow your own. We used a pint of fresh baby tomatoes, and we roasted them on the barbecue so we didn't have to turn on the oven on a hot day. The presentation may not be quite as dramatic, but the results still tasted delish.
And the wine? Pair with a Chianti, naturally. We enjoyed it with a bottle of the inexpensive Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico, and it made a Wednesday night special.
Spaghetti with Burrata and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes
225 g (8 oz) burrata cheese, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Combine oil and garlic in small bowl. Cook pasta in salted water 1 minute less than directed on package. Drain and return to pot.
Cut tomatoes into five clusters, leaving stems and vines intact. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with garlic-oil mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to blister and garlic is lightly browned.
Add sauce to pot with hot pasta, toss constantly one to two minutes, or until well-coated. Add cheese and basil. Gently combine. Divide pasta mixture among serving plates. Place a cluster of roasted tomatoes on top of each serving. Drizzle with any remaining oil or tomato liquid from baking sheet.