{Pasta Alla Checca} No-Cook Heirloom Tomato Burrata Pasta Recipe

{Pasta Alla Checca} No-Cook Heirloom Tomato Burrata Pasta Recipe

Inspired by Italy

{Pasta Alla Checca} No-Cook Heirloom Tomato Burrata Pasta Recipe | https://saltandwind.com There is nothing that transports me to Italy faster than pasta alla checca.  So simple, but so delicious the mix of fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced ...
Skill
Cuisine
Ingredients
9
Hands-On Time
15 minutes
Total Time
15 plus marinating time
Yield
-
Servings
4 to 6
Diet
Season
{Pasta Alla Checca} No-Cook Heirloom Tomato Burrata Pasta Recipe | https://saltandwind.com
Skill
Beginner
Course
Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main, Side
Cuisine
Italian
Ingredients
9
Hands-On Time
15 minutes
Total Time
15 plus marinating time
Yield
-
Servings
4 to 6
Diet
Vegetarian
{Pasta Alla Checca} No-Cook Heirloom Tomato Burrata Pasta Recipe | https://saltandwind.com

There is nothing that transports me to Italy faster than pasta alla checca. 

So simple, but so delicious the mix of fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced garlic, and olive oil create a brag-worthy sauce made sublime by the addition of creamy burrata cheese. 

What Is Pasta Alla Checca?

A traditional pasta dish that comes from Romepasta alla checca (pronounced "kheh-kah") is a recipe often served during warmer weather when people are eating alfresco with abandon. 

At its most simple, pasta alla checca is a no cook pasta sauce made by combining a few key ingredients: fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and olive oil. The best versions of this pasta have top quality ingredients and they're all full of flavor so it tastes almost like an amazing Caprese salad got tossed together with pasta.

But too often it's flavorless because it's made with not great tomatoes, doesn't have enough sauce, or is just not executed well. We set out to right all those wrongs with this recipe.

The Key To The Heirloom Tomato Sauce

The key to this pasta is restraint. As in you only want to make it when you have ah-mazing tomatoes. Then you let the tomatoes really, really marinate so their flavor is maximized. And finally it's all topped off with some super fresh cheese, like a really awesome burrata cheese.

  • Get Great Heirloom Tomatoes: Top-quality tomatoes take this dish from good to great so buy ones that are fresh, ripe, and in season. When you cut the tomatoes, they'll release juice. Instead of dis- carding it, add to the sauce for extra flavor.
  • Use A Short Ridged Shape: These days you'll see pasta alla checca served with angel hair (aka cappellini pasta) but that's a mismatch in our opinion. This dish works well with any short pasta that clings to the delicate sauce without overwheming in be it some penne rigate, gemelli, casarecce, or fusilli.
  • Drain Off The Brine From The Cheese:  Burrata is part cream, part mozzarella cheese that’s pure indulgence. If you can’t find it, buffalo mozzarella will work well.
  • Serve It Warm Or Room Temperature: Some recipes make this into a pasta salad and have you mix the sauce with cold pasta but we really think that's a disservice. However, it's not usually served piping hot as that would melt the cheese. Instead we suggest you serve it warm or room temperature so all the flavors come through.
  • Or Serve It As Bruschetta: Confession: the tomato mixture doubles as a bruschetta topping! Simply spoon over toasted country bread, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and serve.

Variations On This Dish

This recipe is delicious as is but is ripe for variations. Here are a few ways we like to mix it up:

  • Grill some summer vegetables like zucchini and add them in.
  • Use a tangy cheese like goat cheese or crumbled feta in place of the burrata.
  • Add chopped capers, tapenade, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, or anchovies when you add the basil.
  • Stir in a few spoonfuls of our pesto for a chunky crossover sauce.

Go stock up on all your pasta essentials then share your creation with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds medium dice heirloom tomatoes

    juice reserved

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves

    thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

    plus more for seasoning

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 15 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound pasta

    such as rigatoni, campanelle, conchiglie, or orrecchiette

  • 2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley leaves

    finely chopped

  • 12 ounces fresh burrata cheese

    cut into 4 to 6 pieces

Instructions

Make The No Cook Tomato Sauce: Combine the diced tomatoes, tomato juice, oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes (use 1 1/2 teaspoons if you don’t like spicy and up to 3 teaspoons if you do) in a large nonreactive bowl.

Stir gently to coat well, and let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours before serving. When the tomatoes are ready, tear the basil leaves into bite-sized pieces and stir into the tomato mixture. 

Boil The Pasta: Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook according to the package directions. (If the tomatoes have not let off a lot of juice, reserve 1/2 cup / 120 ml of the pasta cooking water before draining.)

Serve The Pasta: Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta cooking water (as needed) and parsley and stir to mix. Add the tomato mixture, and stir to combine. (If using mozzarella, stir it in here.) Taste and season with salt and additional pepper flakes, as desired.

Divide the pasta into individual bowls, top each with some of the burrata cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt, and serve.

Footnotes

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Credit: Food styling by Lillian Kang // Photography by Alex Farnum

https://saltandwind.com/recipes/345-heirloom-no-cook-tomato-sauce-burrata-recipe

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