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Seared cauliflower, broccoli and burrata pasta

July 7, 2012

There is something gloriously comforting about the triad of broccoli, cauliflower, and some sort of cheese. Originally I wasn’t going to bother posting this because I feel like any pasta dish with vegetables and cheese is almost too obvious, simple, and easy but hey – this is the sort of thing that you generally yearn for at the end of a long day. Something you can throw together in twenty minutes, that is utterly wonderful. Anyway, this was still pretty exciting for me because I had never tried burrata before, but after seeing this pasta with burrata and kale roasted garlic sauce from Five and Spice, I was intrigued.

Burrata is like a big knotted ball of fresh white mozzarella, with a super creamy centre. I used Paesanella cheese – the cows eat grass and hay 95% of the time in Western Australia, and the flavour definitely reflects that.* The flavour is so fresh that you’re immediately transported to warm grassy fields, sun on your face. I won’t lie, it’s not cheap (I got my ball for about $10), but it was my little treat after being good and not buying any take out that week. It works so wonderfully with the broccoli and cauliflower, which are seared until flecked with brown, then cooked with a little of the whey that the burrata sits in. If you want a *really* quick and easy meal, serve the burrata and veges with fresh, real ciabatta instead of pasta – which would do an excellent job at mopping up the creamy centre of the buratta that ends up on the plate! Do not skimp on the ciabatta – and if you’re trying to save up your pennies, try making my cheat’s version, which would do just as well. PS. Burrata must be consumed on the day of opening. You can save the leftover chees-y water in the container and use it in place of water or to complement stock in just about any recipe, sweet or savoury.

Seared brassica & burrata pasta

serves 2

  • enough broccoli and cauliflower florets to fit snugly on one layer in a very large frying pan (I also used the peeled stalks)
  • if you have it, a few sprigs of fresh thyme or marjoram
  • pasta for two (200-300g)
  • cooking oil, salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • one ball burrata (around 200g) and some of the water it sits in

Start cooking your pasta first, so it’s done it time. If it’s finished too early, drain, mix in a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and leave covered in your saucepan until you need it. Coat the bottom of your large heavy frying pan with about 1 Tbs oil, pop the cauliflower florets in a single layer, cover and turn heat up to medium high. Once they are brown on the underside, add the broccoli and stir so everything is still on one layer. Cover again, until the broccoli meet the same fate as the cauli. Uncover, add plenty of salt and a splash of whey and immediately re-cover. If you secretly didn’t use a heavy frying pan, leave on the heat for another 2 minutes or so. Otherwise, turn off heat, leaving covered.

Once there’s no crazy spitting coming from the pan, uncover, salt generously and taste. There should be a little water in the pan still, if not, add some so it’s not bone dry, if you’ve added too much water, crank the heat back on and reduce a little by cooking uncovered, before turning the heat off again.

Add most of the thyme and pasta and stir to combine. Taste -it needs to be fairly salty, since the cheese is not salty. Plate (preferably on plates that have sat in a 90C oven while you were cooking).

Lift burrata out of the whey with a fork, and rip the “knot” into bite size pieces, and throw on your pasta. Tear the ball in half over one of the plates of pasta, and put one half on the other plate. Crack over pepper, sprinkle over the rest of the thyme, and give everything a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and another sprinkling of salt. Serve!

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2012 12:13 pm

    This sounds wonderful–will have to look for burrata!

  2. Melissa permalink
    July 7, 2012 12:34 pm

    I’ve never had burrata, and it’s not something I’ve seen in the markets around me. But now, I’ll definitely be on the lookout! As soon as I find it, I’m trying this dish. It looks fabulous!

  3. July 7, 2012 4:10 pm

    The way you describe the freshness of the cheese… DO WANT.

  4. July 7, 2012 11:57 pm

    Burrata is such a lovely cheese. It must have been delicious on your pasta dish.

  5. July 8, 2012 4:03 am


  6. July 8, 2012 6:18 am

    Reblogged this on Urban Farm Foodista.

  7. July 8, 2012 4:00 pm

    I’ve never heard of this burrata either but it looks lovely.

  8. July 9, 2012 6:08 am

    Looks gorgeous, and the burrata must make its own pasta sauce, which is a brilliant idea. I am super-motivated to hunt some down so I can try it myself!

  9. July 9, 2012 10:22 am

    Yay, glad I introduced something new for some of you out there :) I think it’s one of those cheeses which hasn’t been copied cheaply yet too. Downside is that you have to buy it at a deli or something generally, and it can be a bit hard to find, the upside is that you probably won’t find anything but the best! I don’t think it would taste the same if it was made with factory farmed milk, since it’s very mild and the salt doesn’t take over the flavour. Happy tasting everyone :)

  10. July 12, 2012 11:37 pm

    Hey there,
    I really love your blog and so I nominated you for the Lovely Blog Award!

    Please check it out here:

    Have a lovely day,
    Amy x

  11. July 13, 2012 12:03 am

    Thanks Amy! You have a lovely blog too :) Thanks for sharing

  12. July 14, 2012 5:39 am

    Rich, creamy, fresh – it may be simple, but it sounds and looks lovely. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for burrata on my next trip to the deli.

  13. August 2, 2012 2:24 am

    Love this recipe! I’m a huge cheese lover and this dish definitely appeals to me. The broccoli and cauliflower are a delicious addition to this dish. Yum!

  14. Melissa Eastman permalink
    August 24, 2013 2:18 pm

    After hearing so many rants and raves about buratta, I did give it a try. It is extremely bland – basically no flavor at all. I can see it working well in a dish with lots of garlic. This cheese is creamy – but flavorless. You need to doctor it up with spices and/or other ingredients.

  15. Melissa Eastman permalink
    August 24, 2013 2:20 pm

    One more thing. Besides being extremely bland, it is extremely expensive. Just not a cheese I will pursue for my everyday cooking…or even special occasions. Not worth it in my most humble opinion.

  16. Melissa Eastman permalink
    August 24, 2013 2:22 pm

    Give me some recipes that prove me wrong! I am game! In fact, I really want them.

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