If there’s one culinary lesson I learned from our trip to Tuscany, it’s that the simplest dishes are often the best. Of course, when you’re working with a tiny ingredient list, a recipe is only as good as the quality of those ingredients, so the time to make this spaghetti dinner is when tomatoes are practically bursting with their juices and basil is starting to take over the herb garden. In other words, right now. Keep scrolling for the recipe.
*photos by kristen kilpatrick
We made this pasta at our cooking class at the villa, then the next night we were at a nearby restaurant that took theirs to the next level by subbing fresh mozzarella with the creamiest burrata. Of course I had to whip up my own version when I returned to Austin, and it quickly became my new favorite pasta of summer.
In Tuscany, we learned to make our own spaghetti by hand and were all shocked by what a simple process it is. I’ll definitely be adding that to my repertoire for leisurely weekends meals, but for a quick weeknight supper, I’ll keep it simple and pick up the freshest pasta I can get my hands on from the grocery store. (For those of you in Austin, I’m a huge fan of Pasta & Co.)
Can you believe that these tomatoes came straight from my dad’s garden? I’ve been stealing his beauties all summer and adding to pastas and salads, but my favorite thing to do is slice them up, sprinkle with Maldon salt and drizzle with olive oil. Summer perfection in a bite!
The key to this “sauce” is just barely cooking the tomatoes so that their juices are released but they hold their shape. And when it comes to the garlic and olive oil, do as the Italians do and embrace the “more is more” approach.
This is truly the perfect summer dinner party recipe. It comes together in 10 minutes, packs a major wow factor, and your vegetarian friends will be cool with eating it. I made a huge pan of this spaghetti for the shoot, and our entire team devoured it for lunch and then my kids polished off the rest.
When you toss it all together, the burrata oozes over the pasta creating a silky sauce that coats every strand. (If you want to hear more about my burrata obsession, watch this video where I rip it apart with my bare hands.)
Just in case you needed more cheese, I grated a little more Parmesan over the top for a salty finishing touch that really brings it all together.
A big family-style bowl on the center of the table, rustic linen napkins and a bottle or two of red and you’re ready to party like a real Italian.
Looking for more summer pasta recipes? Check out:
and keep scrolling for this recipe…
- 2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- splash of balsamic vinegar
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 12 ounces fresh spaghetti
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 8 - 12 ounces burrata cheese
- olive oil, coarse sea salt, and parmesan for finishing
- In a large skillet, place olive oil and minced garlic. Warm over medium and let sizzle for about 1 minute, just until garlic starts to turn golden. Add tomatoes, a pinch of salt and pepper, and splash of balsamic, and let cook for 1 - 2 minutes, just until tomatoes are warm through.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook spaghetti according to package directions, then use a slotted pasta spoon to transfer spaghetti to pan with tomatoes. If some of pasta water transfers with the pasta, that's fine - the starch will help the sauce coat the strands.Toss the spaghetti well, then transfer to a serving bowl. Top with torn basil, and use your hands to tear apart the burrata and distribute throughout the pasta. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a few pinches of sea salt, and lots of fresh grated parmesan.
- Toss, serve, and eat up while it's still hot!