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Orecciette with Greens and Burrata is easy comfort in a bowl.
What a week. Between Houston’s water situation, Super Tuesday, and being told to stock two weeks’ worth of provisions just in case we’re all asked to stay put so as not to spread viruses, I’m about done.
I’m thinking we all need a big bowl of pasta. Nothing fancy. Just satisfying with marinara and cheese. Comfort, amped up a bit with sundried tomatoes and greens.
But tonight shouldn’t be the night you whip up your grandmother’s slow-simmered marinara. We need a break, remember? And with a little doctoring, you can turn a jar of marinara – a jar! – into something that comes pretty close to tasting fully homemade and hits the spot after a week like we’ve had.
Orecchiette with Greens and Burrata comes together quickly and effortlessly, but feels and tastes special. Garlicky greens, sundried tomatoes and a little bit of crushed red pepper take store-bought marinara next-level. Add some herbs – fresh basil and parsley – and it’s even better. Then add creamy burrata over the top, along with a little parmesan, and you might as well be eating the perfect bowl of pasta.
I can’t say this will rival your grandmother’s slow-simmered sauce, but I can say you’ll like it, and you won’t have to take a nap after cooking it. On the other hand, even if we’re cooking from a jar, we all deserve that nap this weekend.
1 pound orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups baby spinach and baby kale leaves, packed (or use just spinach, or just kale)
Fresh ground pepper
1 24-ounce jar of your favorite tomato-basil marinara (I like Rao’s Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce)
1 8-ounce jar julienned sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
¼ cup basil chiffonade, plus more for garnish (to chiffonade, lay basil leaves on top of each other and roll them into a long, thin cylinder, then slice thin to create ribbons of basil)
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces burrata, torn
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Fill a large pot halfway with water, and bring it to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Add the orecchiette and cook for 9 to 10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Drain it in a colander.
Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium-low. Add the garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the greens, season with salt and pepper, and sauté another 3 minutes or so, until the greens wilt. Remove the greens to a bowl.
In the same skillet, add the marinara and the sundried tomatoes. Cook on low heat for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce is warm. Stir in the basil, parsley, red pepper and a little more black pepper. Stir in the pasta, making sure it is coated evenly with sauce.
Serve the pasta in bowls, topped with burrata, parmesan and more basil.