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Gemelli with Tomatoes, Arugula and Burrata

Burrata, which means “buttered,” is a luscious, creamy fresh cheese made by mixing together cream and unspun mozzarella curds. When the cheese hits the hot pasta, it melts with the juicy tomatoes and olive oil, forming an irresistible sauce that works its way into the grooves of the twisted noodles.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or passed through a garlic press
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 lb. small cherry or Sweet 100 tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup firmly packed baby arugula leaves
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 1 lb. gemelli
  • 1/2 lb. burrata cheese, roughly torn

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the garlic and the 1/4 cup olive oil and let stand for about 20 minutes to allow the garlic to infuse the oil with its flavor.

Strain the infused oil through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large, shallow serving bowl and discard the garlic. Add the tomatoes, sea salt and several grinds of pepper to the oil. Set aside.

Rinse the arugula in several changes of cold water to be sure there is no trace of sand, then dry thoroughly with kitchen towels or in a salad spinner. Add the arugula to the serving bowl with the other ingredients and toss to mix well. Cover the sauce and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours before using. Taste and adjust the seasonings with sea salt and pepper just before using.

In a large pot over high heat, bring 5 quarts water to a rapid boil. Add the kosher salt and pasta, stir well and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, according to the package instructions.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and transfer the pasta to the bowl with the sauce. Toss well, adding up to a few tablespoons of the cooking water if needed to moisten the sauce so that it coats the pasta well.

Divide the pasta among warmed shallow bowls. Top with the cheese, dividing it evenly, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Pasta Book, by Julia della Croce (Weldon Owen, 2010).