We prepared this very authentic Pugliese dish during a recent tour of Puglia in the village of Andria, where the popular buratta cheese originates (see video, below). This dish combines a variety of essential core Pugliese ingredients: orecchiette pasta, bitter greens, called chicory in Puglia, but are not typically available in our area, so I substitute dandelion greens, radicchio or chopped broccoli rabe (rapini), and creamy buratta cheese.
Puglia, Italy Culinary Tour: Our June 2018 tour is full. Our next available tour is scheduled for May 12 – 19, 2019. Link to the website and itinerary: www.epicureanexchange.com/puglia-2019.html
Chef Charlie/Orinda, Calif.
Orecchiette Pasta with Chicory, Plum Tomatoes, and Buratta
- 2 cups dried orecchiette pasta
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 2 cups mixed chicory (endive, radicchio, dandelion greens), chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 – 15 ounce can whole, peeled Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, and juice reserved
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 – 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or more to taste)
- 4 ounces fresh buratta cheese
• Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir vigorously to separate the “ears”, and cook (stirring occasionally) until al dente. Drain, transfer to a sheetpan, coat lightly with olive oil, and set side.
• In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chicory leaves and sauté, turning frequently with a pair of tongs. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes (with juice), and sauté, turning frequently, for 3 – 4 minutes.
• Add the cooked orecchiette and Parmesan cheese and cook until warmed through, 2 – 3 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Add the red wine vinegar and simmer for 5 minutes more.
• Serve the pasta topped with fresh buratta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil
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