Gnocchi with Lemon, Spinach, and Burrata

If you came here expecting to find a recipe for those tasty little Italian potato dumplings, well, SURPRISE!  The gnocchi of today’s post are a type of pasta and have nothing to do with their namesake other than a similar shape. Now, I wish I could say that my family has prepared these for years but, the fact is, I stumbled upon these gnocchi during one of my voyages of discovery down the pasta aisle of the Italian market. Since I had already planned to share this recipe, I merely substituted one pasta for another.

The pasta aside, the reason I wanted to share today’s recipe was to introduce burrata. If you’ve never tried nor heard of burrata, you’re in for a treat. Originating in Puglia, burrata is a fresh cheese that is closely related to mozzarella. To make it, a piece of newly formed mozzarella is stretched into a flat sheet and used to form a pouch. It is then filled with fresh cheese curds, “topped off” with heavy cream, and sealed.  (See photo below.) The result is about as rich a cheese as one could ever expect.

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There are many recipes that feature burrata but the use of lemon is what drew me to this one. None of its flavors are so bold as to hide or overpower burrata’s creamy taste while the pasta shape lends itself to providing spots to capture bits of cheese and drops of cream.  Add some toasted slivered almonds for texture and you’ve a great dish of pasta, whether you serve it as a primo piatto or secondo.

Today’s recipe is straight-forward with little need for clarification. Just be sure to slice burrata on a rimmed dish or cutting board. You do not want to let any of the cream go anywhere but into your pasta. Beyond that, you’ll need to work fast. The pasta and olive oil mixture must be hot enough to wilt the spinach and, soon thereafter, melt the burrata.  A little reserved hot pasta water will help, as will bringing the burrata out of the refrigerator an hour earlier than needed to remove its chill. See? Nothing at all difficult and an incredible pasta is your reward.

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Gnocchi Pasta with Lemon, Spinach, and Burrata Recipe

Ingredients

yield: 6 servings

  • 1 lb gnocchi pasta
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 pkg (6 oz) fresh baby spinach
  • ¾ cup slivered almonds
  • grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 lb. burrata cheese, sliced and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. Place almonds in a small skillet over med-high heat and toast until lightly browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook gnocchi per package directions or to taste.
  3. When pasta is approximately 4 minutes before being al dente, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and olive oil.
  4. Add the garlic to the hot oil/butter mixture and sauté until soft, about 1 minute. Do not allow to brown.
  5. Add the lemon juice and zest to the skillet and stir to combine. Keep hot until pasta is ready. If it reduces too much, replenish with pasta water.
  6. Drain the pasta and put it into a large bowl.
  7. Add the spinach, in thirds, to the gnocchi and mix well. Continue until all the spinach has been added to the bowl of gnocchi. (Adding it in batches will help to prevent clumping.)
  8. Add the almonds and a dash of nutmeg. Mix well.
  9. Add the hot butter/oil/lemon mixture to the pasta and toss, wilting the spinach as you do.
  10. Work quickly and once the spinach is lightly wilted, apportion 6 servings.
  11. Place an equal amount of burrata on top of each serving.
  12. Finish each serving with a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano cheese and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.
  13. Serve immediately.

Inspired by Bon Appetit, December 2004

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Variations

Not all of us have ready access to Meyer lemons, and, gnocchi pasta probably won’t be found in your neighborhood grocery. Don’t let a lack of either stop you from making this delicious pasta. If missing Meyer lemons, use the juice and zest of 1/2 “normal” lemon. If unable to find gnocchi pasta, try using campanelle (little bells), gigli (lilies), or, as pictured on the right, conchiglie (shells).

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Notes

It cannot be stressed enough, the key to this dish is to work fast to insure that the spinach wilts and the burrata melts. Success means a great pasta for dinner.

Burrata’s creaminess makes it a natural for crostini and you may wish to reserve a bit just for that purpose. Use it in place of mozzarella to make the crostini described HERE and pictured on the left.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

Kale-filled Pieda

Kale-filled Pieda

Flatbread are common to many cuisines and Italian is no different. Originating in Emilia-Romagna, this flatbread is called piedina but in my Dad’s area within Italy, the Republic of San Marino, it’s called pieda. Easy to prepare, Mom served pieda with sautéed Swiss chard but you can serve it with cheeses, lunch meats, salad greens, or any combination of those. You can find the recipe by clicking HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Last week I shared the recipe for Bartolini Lasagna. At the time, I called it “one of the jewels in the Bartolini Crown of Recipes.” Well, next week I’ll present another of our Crown’s jewels: Mom’s recipe for Cappelletti. Although not made in the traditional shape, these raviolini will turn an ordinary bowl of brodo into something really quite special.

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175 thoughts on “Gnocchi with Lemon, Spinach, and Burrata

  1. Hi John, That sounds fantastic. The only trouble is, I have never seen burrata in Perth, though I haven’t been looking. Next time I go to an Italian delicatessen I will ask.

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  2. Another challenge, burrata! The Gnocchi, I know, even the meyer lemons – hard to come by, but were seen locally only last week – but burrata – perhaps I haven’t been paying attention when out shopping. John you have enticed me I shall be asking at my local Italian deli. The pictures look wonderful.

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    • That’s right, Maria. No more weekly posts. I’m giving you all, my faithful subscribers, challenges! This week it’s burrata. No telling what next week’s challenge will be. :)
      It is a unique cheese, Maria, and I hope you can find it. Good luck!

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        • Now, I did give you a photo of a pouch of burrata, so, that may make finding it easier. You’ll find burrata in a container with whey. If you have a good Italian market, ask someone where they sell cheese. If they do not have it, ask if they know where you can get it. If all else fails, go to an Italian restaurant and ask where they get theirs or ask if you can buy some from them. You’ll neve know unless you ask. :)

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  3. Simply wonderful! I don’t think I’ll be able to find burrata but I’m sure I could improvise with mozzarella, cream cheese and cream. The word ‘gnocchi’ had me worried when I first saw it because it brings back memories of mine melting into the cooking water and making a kind of weak potato soup, but these I know I can find. I’m looking forward to this!

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    • Thank you so much! Burrata is a relatively new cheese, having been created on a farm in Puglia around 1920. It would probably be hard to find in many areas. Your idea of using mozzarella, cream cheese, and cream, should give you a good approximation. If you cannot find gnocchi pasta, try to find campanelle or conchiglie. Either will certainly work. I do hope you find burrata, though, and not just for this recipe. I’d love to see how else you’ll use it.

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  4. OMG Burrata sounds amazing, thank you for sharing this I am going to look for it now, do you think most cheese shops will carry it or do I have to go somewhere fancier?

    Also are you sure the pasta gnocchi is not called that because they are gnocchi shaped? That’s always what I thought!

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    • I’ve not seen it in normal, neighborhood groceries. I’ve only found it in Italian markets. Look in the area where they sell fresh mozzarella packed in whey.
      I think you may have misread my statement about gnocchi. I said the pasta has “nothing to do with their namesake other than a similar shape.” In other words, only their shape connects gnocchi pasta with gnocchi potato dumplings. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
      Thanks for droppin in and taking the time to comment. Come back again!

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    • Thank you, Stefan. I can only find burrata in a good Italian market, A small market usually does not have any in supply. I used gnocchi pasta and then conchiglie because both have shapes that will allow them to collect the lemony olive oil, the bits of burrata and a few drops of cream. I really do enjoy orecchiette but wonder if it will be as effective. But really, at this point, the pasta doesn’t really matter. If you cannot find burrata, everything else is moot.

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  5. How wonderful – to be honest have never heard of this cheese but am planning to send my dad on a mission in London to his Italian delicatessan and to see if he can track it down. How lovely that your father (or his family) is from San Marino. Have never been but my grandmother (who was English) always spoke so lovingly of it as she went with my family (so, correction, I have been, but must have been a few years old) for her 25th Wedding Anniversary. My grandfather bought her a ring there and when she died a few years ago it was passed to me. Everytime I look at it I remember her talking about San Marino!

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    • It is a wonderful cheese, Tanya, and one you’re surely love. Maria, in a prior comment, said it can be found in London at Waitrose’s, so, your Dad may wish to start his search there.
      Yes, Dad left San Marino in 1936. Nonno saw what was coming and didn’t want Dad, his eldest at 16 years old, fighting for Mussolini. Just a few years ago, my Uncle sold the last of my Grandparents’ farm. Not only that, because of the way they wrote their constitution after WWII, I have dual citizenship. Next time you’re looking for a ring, let me know. I’ll try and get you the “local’s” discount. :)

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      • What a great family history you have. I have dual nationality and I’m very proud of both! My dad was born in 1936 so fortunately was only a young boy when war broke out…they were deep in the south in Calabria so fortunately escaped much of the horror of those years. God we need to sit down with a bottle of wine (or two) and chew the fat! Will send my dad to Waitrose, or head there myself this weekend when I am popping up to London :)

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  6. Burrata! We love it! We spent a delightful hour in rural Puglia last September watching a man make his prized specialty. After leading us through the process, he then spent the next fifteen minutes fashioning pieces of burrata into mice, tiny elephants and–my favorite–a child’s pacifier. Great cheese. This dish sound delicious–I’ve never cooked with burrata, so it will be a first. Great post, John. Ken

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    • Thanks, Ken, I’m glad that you enjoyed this post. I would really enjoy a demonstration like that, especially if if involved making burrata. And I would love to be so proficient that I could make animals with it! I make a few cheeses, mozzarella among them, and searched YouTube for a How To video for making burrata. I found one and promptly decided that burrata is meant to be bought, at least in this house.

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  7. Man oh man, if a cheese were ever sexy, then Burrata takes the mantle! Love the combination here, creamy – a little acid, a crunch. Whew! And it’s not even 7 am!

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  8. Very hard to find burrata here, but I might be able to get the store to special order some for me. It is indeed extremely rich, but for a special occasion, nothing wrong with that! :-)

    I often cook this shape of pasta because I find it perfect to hold some sauce in the little cavity. Plus, it looks too cute! :-)

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    • You’re right, Sally. Burrata is a rich cheese and it could never be a regular part of my diet. BUT, having said that, it is sure to pop up every now and again. It is just too good to banish from my table. :)
      Although this was the first I saw gnocchi pasta, I definitely see myself using it in a variety of ways for the very reason you stated. It’s “perfect to hold some sauce.” The perfect pasta shape.

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  9. May I just say, ‘thank you’, for introducing me to burrata. How could something so beautifully delicious and so perfect for a cheese lover like myself, have escaped my notice or my taste buds? I must find some and make it my own! We have an small Italian restaurant and market just down the street — I’ll bet they’ve been hiding it there. ;) Really, you’ve set my sails to find it and have it soon!

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    • Good morning, Judy. I think the cat is out of the bag. This blog is, in reality, a scavenger hunt. This week you’ll need to find gnocchi pasta and burrata. By the time the hunt ends, you’ll all have pantries well-stocked with Italian goods. :)
      All kidding aside, I do hope you can find some burrata. It is really good and you’re sure to enjoy it.

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  10. I can’t believe all the flavors in this simple dish: the almonds, nutmeg, Meyer lemon, burrata and Romano! This is comfort food to me! I’ll be on a quest to find burrata so that I can try this recipe. I will NOT rest until I find it! Thanks for a great recipe John!

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    • What I loved about it, Tanya, was its aroma. Something about citrus in Winter reminds me of Summer. This dish, for me, helps me forget about Winter for one meal, anyway. I hope you’ve a good Italian market in your area. They’ll carry it. Good luck!

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  11. Burrata is brand new to me. Thanks for the lesson. Should check with my Italian neighbour to see if she uses it and where she purchases it or is this something you have to make yourself?
    I have seen a similar dry pasta in the supermarket but never paid attention to see if it named gnocchi or something else.

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    • Thank you, Norma. You teach me something every week. It’s about time I could return the favor.
      You should be able to find burrata at a good Italian market. It can be made at home but it is a complicated process and I’m not even going to attempt it. As for the gnocchi pasta, don’t worry if you cannot find it. Try using shells or campanelle instead. Either would work just fine.

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  12. John, that is a real deal: your burarata is just awesome! (Sorry, but I had to use that word, my teenager said it’s the coolest word this day!) :) I am going to think of it all day now. I know how good it tastes, I can feel the texture with my tong. I can see it on a slice of garden fresh tomato with basil. I don’t need nothing more: no vinagar, no salt, no pepper. All flavors are right there! :)

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    • The reason behind your “awesome” gave me a good chuckle, Marina. Yes, you have to learn and use the language or suddenly you’re ancient. :)
      You’re right, too, that this dish has it all. I hope you find some burrata and give it a try. Then you can tell your teenager that this is the real meaning of the word “awesome.” :)

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      • John, to find a good burrata is to make your own. Although I did have a very nice burrata in New York last summer. It was house made, and did taste real. :)
        You know what else would be awesome? If teenager can make burrata himself! Well, he has to start with mozzarella. We probably have to wait on that as tonight he wants to make some burgers. Acrually, he doesn’t really want to MAKE it, but I have a deal with him: you have to make it if you want it. How else he would learn? :)

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        • I have found videos of people making burrata at home but it’s beyond my grasp. I make mozzarella but am not proficient enough yet to take the next step to make burrata with it. My market makes their own mozzarella and burrata and I’m very satisfied with both. Good luck to your teenager, Marina. I hope you blog about it for us. I’d love to see how he does.

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  13. Delicious – I can see I’ll need to loosen my belt by another inch!
    You might be interested in this – Italy Unpacked, it’s been shown by the BBC over the last 3 weeks and features chef Giorgio Locatelli and art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon, travelling around Northern Italy. Hopefully you can access the YouTube link from Chicago ;-)

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    • I knew this dish would be trouble, MD. Burrata is so rich and the dish such a great mix of flavors that portion control is nearly impossible, for me anyway. And I must say, it was worth every extra calorie and gram of fat. A quote from Joel in “Risky Business” comes to mind. ;)
      I checked out the link and it works. I’m going to bookmark it. I only gave it a quick glance but really enjoyed what I saw. Thanks for the heads-up.

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  14. Burrata! I need to try this, and I know where I can find it, in Madison at least. And hopefully that little Italian specialty shop will have that gnocchi pasta too. Road trip! We’re going to give this a shot. I’m so happy to have another use for my Meyer lemons too. The little tree is in full harvest mode and boy, are they wonderful little lemons. Thank you John!

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    • Good morning, Sarah! I do hope you find some burrata. You’re in for a real treat when you do. I listed some other pastas to use, if you cannot find gnocchi pasta. You just need a pasta that will catch the dish’s goodies — and there are a lot of goodies to catch in this dish and with them, a great combination of flavors. This one, Sarah, is a keeper and I hope you both like it when you try it. Have a great week!

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      • you too!! We have a neat little Italian specialty shop in Madison that I discovered recently. I think it’s new, and boy oh boy, what a cool place. I can’t wait to get back in there! Now I have a purpose :) Thanks John! Enjoy your week too!

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  15. John, I would so love this pasta dish!! And my Dad especially! His family owned a lemon orchard so he was always incorporating lemon into his food. They also grew grapes for wine and I guess that’s where I get my love of wine too! But back to the pasta..that cheese was sold at my Italian market and so sad, I’ve not seen it here. I do have the gnocchi on hand and am just going to see how I can get the cheese to make this! I totally love it!

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    • I bet your Dad would really enjoy this dish, Linda. It has that wonderful aroma of lemon as you bring it to the table and, being he was connected to a lemon orchard, this dish is perfectly suited to him.
      Atlanta just has to have one good Italian market to serve our people and it will have burrata. And if Atlanta doesn’t have said market, you and I should open one! We’d make a killing just selling imported Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romagna, and prosciutto. We’d have an espresso bar where your biscotti will be in high demand. We’d be rich! :)

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    • It may not be the healthiest of dishes — although it does include fresh spinach — but it does make a great celebratory or holiday dish. More often than that and you should probably consider buying a defibrillator. :)

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      • You made me laugh :) I hardly ever eat pasta. Not because I dislike it but when I start I cannot stop. We had pasta in Venice and that was a few weeks ago. I probably won’t have it for some time now. This looks amazing and if someone made it for me I would gobble it up :)

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  16. I’ve had burrata! Great stuff. It’s not common in most supermarkets in here in St. Louis, but I do know where I can usually find it. Really nice recipe, and a great way to use spinach in pasta (other than making the pasta out of spinach, of course!). So simple but it looks so great. I may need to make a trip to get some burrata! BTW, if one can’t find Meyer lemon, I find that adding just a touch of OJ to regular lemon juice approaches the flavor of Meyer lemon. Anyway, good stuff – thanks.

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    • I’ve now found burrata in 2 markets, John, and the one I buy is the store’s brand. You’re right about this recipe being so easy to prepare. The only thing one needs to be mindful of is the time. If you take your time, the spinach won’t wilt and the burrata won’t melt. Thanks for leaving a great comment and for the tip about OJ and lemon juice. Right now, I’ve got 2 dozen Meyer lemons — for limoncello and preserved lemon recipes. Once they’re gone, I’ll be looking for more. This dish is going to be made again — and not off into the distant future. Your substitution will come in handy, to be sure. :)

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  17. These are amazing recipes! They truly fit my taste cravings, and work well with so many of my meatless needs. I can go either way most of the time, but in entertaining and even some family gatherings, there are those who really don’t want the meat. The richness in this gnocchi, and I agree, the lemon! Wow! I will hunt down all ingredients and get to this. I’m hungry just reading. I would very much enjoy the kale-filled Pieda! You must have people line up outside your door with the aroma that wafts about! :-)

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    • Thank you so much, Debra. Yes, your vegetarian friends will like this pasta. That lemon really does brighten up the dish and the burrata is so very decadent. Wait until you slice into the “purse” and the cream flows. Just incredible!
      Pieda are so easy to make and are a great substitute for bread at any meal. Stuffing them with sautéed greens — kale, chard, spinach — creates interesting side dishes. We all loved it when Mom made them. I hope you, too give them a try.

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    • Oh, no! Not another craving, Courtney, although your peanut butter and banana bread is spectacular. I checked the container and my burrata was made with pasteurized cow’s milk. I bet that if you find it, yours will be pasteurized, too. And are you in for a treat when you find it! Good luck with your search!

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  18. So the Bartolini have Crown Jewles too, but these ones aren’t kept in the Tower of London :)
    I think I’ve just fallen in love with the idea of the burrata cheese – your description was to drool for John.

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  19. Burrata, who knew such ecstasy existed?! And whoever imagined such a thing as a ball of mozzarella cradling inside curds and cream? Genius! And anytime pasta is paired with lemon and spinach and CHEESE, I’m fully convinced it’s the food of the gods (or their near relatives.) This sounds absolutely exquisite John! Isn’t it time you thought of writing a cookbook? (Opening a restaurant, much more problematic, but with food like this, you COULD!) You have given us such an abundant menu to choose from over the years, how lucky can we mortals be?! Just fantastic John!

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    • My thoughts were much the same as yours, Spree, when I first discovered burrata and later when i found this recipe. Burrata was first created on a farm in Puglia about 1920. Surely the Church has canonized that farmer for he was a miracle worker, to be sure. I know of no cheese like this one.
      Thank you so much for your kind words and compliments, Spree. I may gather up the family recipes and stories to create a cookbook for The Clan. Zia, for one, would be thrilled to see it done. Fingers crossed.

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  20. I can’t get burrata in the winter – the only place locally that carries it closes until April. Ok, I *could* go to Providence…but I spend waaaaay to much if I shop for food up there. That leaves making reservations at my favorite Italian restaurant for Saturday, I suppose, as the only option for getting this wonderful flavor out of my system…
    Oh, the hardship… ;)

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    • I thought of you the entire time I wrote this recipe, Marie. I remember how much you love burrata and hoped this recipe would meet with your approval. :)
      I found a video showing someone making burrata but that is so far out of my league. i’ve learned that things always look far easier in those “how to” videos than they actually are. now that I have 2 sources for burrata, I’ll leave the making of it to the professionals. Sorry that this post may force you to go to dinner at your favorite Italian restaurant. Is there a recipe I can post to force you to a French restaurant next week? :)

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  21. So, John, I swoon over this cheese. Sweet, earthy, soury-flowery, milky and silky, on the road between Mozzarella and Ricotta :) Your recipe is lush. Here’s a gorgeous salad you might like to try ~ Toni

    4 medium red beets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
    1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    6 tablespoons best quality olive oil
    3 cups baby salad greens
    12 ounces burrata
    4 teaspoons chopped chives

    1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and bake them for one hour. Unwrap them, cool slightly and peel. Slice the beets thin on a mandoline. Place them in a medium bowl and set aside.
    2. To make the dressing, pour the blood orange juice into a small bowl, add the salt and pepper and whisk. Slowly whisk in the olive oil in a stream.
    3. Dress the beets with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the dressing; toss gently to combine.
    4. In a large bowl, toss the baby greens with 1 to 2 tablespoons of dressing.
    5. Divide the beets into four portions. Make several small piles of beets on each of four plates. Top each pile of beets with one-fourth of the salad greens. Divide the burrata into 4 portions, cutting it in half or quarters as necessary. Place one portion atop each salad.

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    • Oh, Toni! This beet salad is something else! It must make quite an impression with your dinner guests, the roasted beets with the creamy burrata. It sonds wonderful. Have you blogged the recipe? I don’t remember seeing it on your blog. This is too good a recipe for you not to share it, Toni!
      At this point, this may sound a bit redundant but I see you enjoy burrata as much as I do. :)
      Thank you so much for the compliments and fantastic recipe.

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  22. I just about fall into your food photo’s every time you post but I love how much I learn & the new things to try. I’m now on a quest for the Burrata cheese & I may need to get into the North End in Boston but I’m on it. And these Meyer lemons – I’ve never heard of them but they sound pretty special. You just come up with the best ideas ever! This sounds like something my husband will love but I’ll have to keep an eye on how many plates of it he’s eating.

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    • Thanks, Diane, A few years back, I saw a cooking show that mentioned Capone’s, an Italian store in Boston, and his is the recipe I now use to make ricotta. You might find burrata there. As for the Meyer lemons, they are a bit sweeter than “normal” lemons and I can only get them this time of year. An earlier commenter suggested adding a bit of OJ to regular lemon juice as a substitute. I’ve made this with plain lemons and enjoyed the dish just as much. I hope you can find burrata and like this pasta as much as I do. It is something else and portion control is a very real problem! :)

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  23. Have just been on a very popular site which today took us to Nantes and its wonderful oysters. Half of the fond readers of the blog stated they would/could not eat any. Methinks the writer understands and I hope you will too :D ! This recipe is absolutely beautiful, but will be tweaked. I adore oysters but even one extra gram of fat is a huge no-no and has been for over three decades :D ! :D ! Have not had a spoonful of cream in all that time! Do hope we’re still friends :D !

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    • Of course we’re still friends, Eha. I’ll just have to serve a different primo piatto when we do sit down to dinner, that’s all. Perhaps next week’s recipe, another Jewel in the Bartolini Recipe Crown, will meet your dietary requirements. And if not, there are certainly more recipes to come. I’ll make sure you won’t go home hungry. :)

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      • [laughing] Oh John, I really and truly am not a fusspot. When you’ll have me over for dinner I’ll even eat this primo piatto – have never been ‘prissy’ when out! And can’t imagine going even a tad hungry in your home!! Perchance at home I just avoid certain ingredients. Cooking SE & S Asian and Middle-Eastern over 70% of the time gives me a lot of latitude :D !

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  24. Hi John! This looks like another incredible recipe. There is something about the combination of meyer lemon and burrata that absolutely sing to me. So, the moment I read the title, I knew that I was going to have to try this recipe out. Then when I noticed that you included a touch of nutmeg I was intrigued. That sounds like a truly special addition. I don’t cook enough with nutmeg as a savory spice, but whenever I have it as a component of a meal when I dine out nutmeg is usually that flavor that makes me want to order it again.

    Great post!

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    • Thanks, Anne! This is a great recipe and for all of the reasons you mentioned. I really enjoy lemon flavoring in WInter. It seems to brighten up a dish, for me, and this pasta is no exception. Nutmeg was a spice that Mom loved. She experimented with it all of the time. I like just a hint of it in a dish, causing most to ask what that flavor is. “It’s Mom’s.” :)

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  25. Hi John, Wow, I am craving gnocchi now. And not just any gnocchi. John’s spinach and burrata gnocchi with a sprinkle of romano! This dish is truly a perfect meal!

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    • This is a great pasta, Judy, and wonderful use of burrata. It hits all of the right notes, for me, and I couldn’t wait to share the recipe. And since I couldn’t get the right photo, I just had to make it more than once. I hate when that happens. ;)

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  26. Oh my. Burrata sounded wonderful by itself and then, when you mentioned the cream sauce, I thought I was going to faint. Can’t believe I’ve lived this long without encountering it! See what a valuable public service you perform with your blog?

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    • ((Chuckling)) You are so welcome. Burrata is really quite special. I hope you’ve a good Italian market nearby so that you can sample this cheese. It’s such a treat!

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    • Thanks for commenting. I think I’ve inadvertently started a scavenger hunt. I envision people running around their cities looking for burrata and gnocchi pasta. I’d better come up with something new to find for next week’s post. :)

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  27. Gosh I just realized that I didn’t actually know what Burrata was exactly, so I learned something new, as I often do here, John! This dish looks fabulous…creamy and flavorful with that sweet zing of Meyer lemon. I want. And there’s my favorite majolica plate, too…the one with the kale filled Pieda. You’re torturing me today! :)

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    • I never wished to torture you, Betsy, but this pasta woud definitely make you feel all better. :)
      Burrata is such a treat. Watching that creamy goodness spill out of the little pouch is a real delight. I hope you find some and experience it for yourself. Yum!

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  28. No I have never heard of burrata, but now that I’ve seen it, read about it, and seen it used in this wonderful recipe, I want some!!! I can’t get enough fresh mozzarella and this looks even better! Love the simple and tasty pasta dish that you use it in. The use of lemon is perfect and one of my favorite pasta ingredients! I actually like a little preserved lemon and would love it in this!

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    • YES! This would be a perfect use for preserved lemons. I’ve some Meyer lemons that I bought to preserve and now that my blog is current again, I can spend time tomorrow getting those lemons stuffed into jars!!
      If you love fresh mozzarella, MJ, you’re in for a real treat! I hope you can find a store that offers burrata in your area.

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  29. Pingback: Robert JR Graham » The Power of Family Dinners

  30. Your list of pasta shapes reads like a poem!
    I will seek out the burrata, just to see if it is available locally. The filling combination sounds delicious and your photographs are enticing as always. Oh to be a taste tester in your kitchen!

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    • Thank you so much, Ruth, You’re always so complimentary of my efforts.
      There are so many pastas out there and I really enjoy highlighting them, whether by showing how to make them by hand or in some recipe. And then there are the cheeses. Burrata is probably the most special. It is just so unlike any you’ve tried. I do hope you can find some. Pittsburgh has some great Italian markets and I bet you can find it in one of them. You’re in for a real treat when you do. :)

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  31. This is a beautiful looking meal. I love pastas with cream and cheese and spinach. I haven’t cooked gnoochi pasta before but I will have to – this looks like amazing comfort food xx

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  32. OMG! That is my present favourite cheese, I ALWAYS order it on a menu, but here, the menu features are usually the Caprese (or renditions of) and not much more. I have to say I was a little disappointed that the gnocchi was the pasta version (of which I became familiar many years ago), but in reading the recipe, the traditional potato version may be just a little too heavy for this very delicate dish. And the meyer lemon sounds incredible with this dish. And the wilted spinach, well, that’s another ingredient at the top of my favourites. Makes me want a taste or ten right now, John. It looks like you had a beautiful sunny day to shoot this dish.

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    • Thank you so much, Eva, for your kind words. Everything you mentioned, is what brought me to this recipe. There is a lightness to it that, like you, I don’t think “real” gnocchi could deliver. The crowning glory, though, is the burrata. Oh, boy!
      I took most of the photos for this post months ago, late one Fall afternoon. I waited to post it until Meyer lemons were available because I wanted to make sure my amounts were accurate. It had been a while since I made the dish with Meyers. They’re not always available here in Winter. Not to worry. Regardless of the Meyer lemon supply, that Sun is well on its way back again. YAY!

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  33. A creamy ,dreamy little surprise! I do want to make homemade “real gnocchi one day” but for now while everything is so busy with the change and updating of my website, this is a great easy and delicious meal. I hope you are doing well. Take care, BAM

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    • All’s well here in Chi-Town, BAM, if not a little on the frigid side. This gnocchi pasta will never take the place of the little dumplings but are good in their own right.
      I’m sure your new website is going to be fantastic, BAM. Continued good luck during the conversion.

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  34. You bought this cheese? can we buy it when i come up to visit? I would LOVE a taste, it just looks divine.. i am desperate to get to your italian market..how exciting, and gnocchi pasta, i have not see those either which reminds me do you have a recipe for gnocchi…. ..? Have I missed it?.. . I have never been able to reproduce the fluffy little packs of yumminess we used to get on the amalfi coast.. it is freezing cold tonight and windy, so cruel after the last few days.. hope you and the tribe are tucked up warm.. c

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    • Celi, you can buy this cheese and so much more. All of this awaits here in Chicago and burrata can be found at 2 stores that I frequent. You and The Matriarch are going to make quite the picture getting back onto that train, laden with shopping bags.
      I’ve not made gnocchi yet, Celi. If I can convine Zia to make some with me, I’ll photograph and post that “session.” Otherwise, I’ll do it myself. In the meantime, there are some pretty good ready-made gnocchi available. You sure are going to have a good time in these stores! :)
      Today is going to be a really frigid one. Celi. Be careful outdoors. February is here. Won’t be much longer before Spring gets here, too.

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      • it was so cold this morning that once I got back in I was in tears trying to stop the pain in my hands, and my feet felt like I was walking on bandages, I had lost feeling in the soles, but everyone got fed and the milking got done.. tomorrow will be better.. lets hope that was the coldest for a while… c

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        • Sorry I’m so late replying; it’s been quite a day.
          I was worried about you carrying so much water with the temps so low. It’s so easy to get frostbite in weather like this morning’s. I hope you’re feeling better now. It’s supposed to be warmer Saturday and, with a little luck, maybe that will be the last of our sub-zero mornings until next January. Good luck this morning!

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    • Burrata is really special! You can see it made on YouTube, if you’re interested. I’d post a link but am not sure they can be viewed everywhere. I’ve run into problems with that in the past. I hope you can locate some burrata. I’d love to see what you’d prepare with it.

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    • Oh, if you like cheese, you’re going to love burrata. Supplies may be tight, however. I think i inadvertently set off a stampede of people searching for the cheese! :)
      Thanks for the visit and taking the time to comment.

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  35. At the supermarket today, I asked in the cheese department about burrata. They had it! The woman I spoke with said the employees always get to taste the cheeses and this one was delicious. ChgoJohn, your explanation of how it’s made is quite fascinating.

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  36. A wonderful combination of flavours and textures… I’d live the burrata on crostini, or in salads as suggested by commenters. Next time I’m at Haberfield, I’ll be checking out the Italian deli’s and taking some home :)

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  37. John, when I read your post I definitely was thinking this would be an authentic gnocchi recipe . . . and I was excited because the girls LOVE gnocchi more than you can imagine. I’ve just recently discovered Burrata and this looks like a great way to introduce it to the rest of the family. It looks packed with flavour!

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    • Thank you. I’ve yet to post the “real” gnocchi recipe but will, in the weeks ahead. This pasta has a great mix of flavors but it’s the burrata that’s the star. It really adds the flavors of mozzarella and cream to the pasta. Can’t beat that!

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  38. John, burrata are a local delicacy here, and just to die for! I’ve always been told – make a red sauce pasta dish, the simply crack a burrata over the top of it and serve it just like that, with the cream turning the sauce into a rosa sauce. Your lemon dish sounds like an equally good way to go! :)

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    • That sounds wonderful, Celia. I had considered using it with ziti and baking the dish but was afraid the cream might evaporate too much. That certainly wouldn’t be a problem with your suggestion. I have to give it a try. Thanks for the tip. :)

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    • Sorry for my delayed response.
      Thank you for honoring me with this award. I do appreciate your thoughtfulness. Even so, I no longer accept awards but that doesn’t mean I value them any less or that I’m any less grateful.

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    • Thanks, Mar. I really enjoy preparing pasta dishes with lemon in Winter. The lemon adds a brightness to the dish and reminds me of Summer, for some reason. That’s certainly true here and the burrata puts this dish over the top. It’s a great combination.

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    • Sorry, Brandi. I doubt that there will ever be a DF form of burrata. Not to worry, though. There are so many other DF cheeses being made these days that it will soon be able to create a DF version of virtually any other pasta dish. Things are certainly looking better for people who must go DF — thank heavens!

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  39. Myer lemons, easy peasy, gnocci pasta, a piece of cake, but where oh where am I going to source the burrata remains a mystery unless I take a trip to the city – which obviously I’ll have to, because this recipe is just what I love most about Italian pasta dishes – fresh, zinging and totally delicious! I never fail to he over-enthused by spending time at the Bartolini kitchen John, but never more so than today. :)

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      • Welcome, Kat! Feel free to return whenever you’ve got some time and if you’ve a question, just let me know. I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.
        Thanks for dropping in and for taking the time to comment.

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    • You are so kind! Yeah, burrata is pretty much a must for this recipe. I don’t know how many good Italian markets there are in your neck of the woods so you may have to settle for substituting mozzarella and heavy cream. It won’t be quite the same but I’m sure it will still be very good. :)

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  40. Mike and I had a burrata at an Italian restaurant in Michigan. It was out of this world good! You know how I feel about pasta. I have no doubt this would be a meal I would devour (making sure to hide some leftovers for myself). I haven’t seen these little gnocchi pasta before – I need to explore that aisle a little more carefully. Did you find the burrata there as well? Or did you make your own?

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    • Oh, yes, Kristy, burrata is really something special! Burrata is packed in whey and can usually be found where the fresh mozzarella is displayed. I get mine at the Italian market. The gnocchi pasta isn’t so readily available but don’t obsess about getting it. You can use small or medium-sized shells or campanelle instead. Both will catch the olive oil with lemon dressing as well as bits of burrata and its cream.
      I looked up how to make burrata and it looked too complicated for a novice like me. I would need to get much more proficient at making mozzarella before attempting burrata. The problem is that I just don’t make mozzarella often enough to become proficient. For now, anyway, I’ll be happy to purchase burrata when I need some.
      As always, thanks for leaving such great comments and compliments, Kristy.

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  41. I was wondering how I missed this one.. but I see it was the day before my birthday and I’ve been gorging on cake and gone x-country skiing in the mountains. I’m home, on a diet and now I see this.. diets are merely the device that allows an indulgence to taste even more fabulous due to its inherent forbidden nature! I adore burrata and have found only one source for it here in Calgary.. and I’ve often been left not holding the bag with the cute little twisted note on top. If I can get my hands on one, we do have Meyer lemons popping up here and there so that’s easier to find. “My kingdom for a.. burrata cheese!” xx

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    • Well, a belated happy birthday to you, Smidge! Sounds like you had a wonderful time and enjoyed yourself. I’m glad for you.
      I do hope you can find some burrata, so, that you can give this recipe a try. It’s such a great mix of flavors and textures. You’re going to love it. Celia of Fig Jam & Lime Cordial suggested preparing a pound of pasta, dressed in meat sauce, and placing a the burrata pouch on top. The pouch is then cut and the burrata mixed into the pasta, creating a creamy tomato sauce. Doesn’t that sound good, too? I’m definitely going to try this one.
      Thanks for always being so complimentary and encouraging, Barb, when you comment. I appreciate it.

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    • Thanks, Jed. This would be a good dish if it were only the pasta, spinach, lemon, & almonds with a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano. Adding the burrata, though, takes it to an entirely different level.

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    • It is a one-of-a-kind cheese. I’m sure you’ll love it. Look for it at a good Italian market where they sell mozzarella. Good luck!
      Thanks for stopping for a visit and taking time to comment.

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    • Thanks, Michael. I took that pic in the front of my home. It was late afternoon in the Fall and that’s one of the few places that still gets light. It was more luck than anything else. :)

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  42. My oh my oh my! I just know I would love this dish. I might pop down to Naninella (my local Italian!) and ask where in Athens I could get this amazing looking cheese! A good trick for whilting any type of baby greens for pasta, is to put them in a colander, and then pour the pasta with its water over them! Although it might not help with the clumping, it’s quite quick and efficient! As for the gnocchi, back when I was little this was one of the few pasta shapes you could get here in Greece. An old Barilla tv ad comes to mind, where a cat burglar steals a jewellery case that has pasta in it, then takes her mask off, flicks her hair, and says with a sexy Italian accent, “penne, gnocchi, fusilli, farfale… I am rich”!! So 80ies!!

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    • Funny the adverts we remember. When I was a boy, the Prince Co. had an advert of a young boy playing out in the streets of Boston as his mother calls him. “Anthony! It’s time for dinner.” He rushes home because it is Wednesday and “Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day.” Guess what day I chose to publish my posts?
      I do hope you can find burrata. It is an incredible cheese and works really well here with the lemon. In 2 weeks I’ll post a recipe using burrata with Bolognese sauce. That, too, is a wonderful dish.
      Thank you for your compliments. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe and that my post brought to mind some warm memories.

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      • Ooh, Bolognese with burrata sounds lovely! Last night we had Spag Bol as it’s called in the UK, and instead of a splash of milk in the sauce at the end, I used a tablespoon of Greek yogurt! Yum! I hope the people of Bologna aren’t cringing…

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        • That’s the fun — and beauty — of italian cooking. There’s no One Way to make a dish. Everyone’s Nonna has her own recipe. One day your grandchildren will make your Bolognese and add a touch of Greek yogurt. :)

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  43. Pingback: Burrata Returns and This Time It’s Packin’ Fusilli | from the Bartolini kitchens

  44. Pingback: Pasta with Burrata, Spinach, and Lemon (Orecchiette Burrata, Spinaci, Limone) | Stefan's Gourmet Blog

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