Burrata cheese on top of pasta is simply magical, and this Burrata Bolognese takes it to a whole new level of deliciousness!
Growing up, my parents taught me many lessons about how to be a gentleman. Always offer your seat to your grandparents or other elderly people. Hold the door open for the person behind you. Always clean up behind yourself. Give the important ladies in your life flowers. I heard those lessons, and I like to think I still abide by them. Sometimes the kitchen is a bit of a mess at the end of the day. Sorry, Laura! (In my defense, I do clean it up every night.)
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself standing in a field at a dairy farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York. We were visiting Shtayburne Farm as part of the New York Dairy Tour, and we had the chance to watch them making a new batch of cheddar cheese. I personally love sharp cheddars, so the batch of cheese that was started that day won’t be ready until 12 months from now. Guess I’ll just have to go back next Autumn!
While at the farm, we were able to visit with a young calf. She was several months old, and she was quite excited to visit with us. It was at this point that I remembered my parents’ wisdom of giving flowers to the important ladies in your life. I’m a big fan of cheese, so I absolutely appreciate that calf (and all of her friends) for the milk that she supplies. With that said, I reached over and grabbed some flowers for her. However, instead of being appreciative, she tried to eat them. Maybe that was her way of showing appreciation? Either way, that calf certainly knew she was the center of attention, and she played it up!
On the New York Dairy Tour, I joined a handful of other food bloggers and nutritionists to learn more about the dairy industry here in the northeast. The Northeast arm of the American Dairy Association is one of several state and regional organizations that seeks to educate folks about modern dairy farming. To be honest, before starting this blog, I didn’t think much about where my milk and cheese came from. I just picked up a half-gallon of milk and 5 pounds of cheese each week at the store. (Ok, maybe not quite 5 pounds a week…but I do love cheese!) Thanks to this job, I’ve gotten the chance to meet and interact with the farmers who work tirelessly to put these products in our stores. And when I say work, I mean work!
The long hours dairy farmers spend taking care of their cows is what makes our lives more delicious. Think about it. From the splash of cream in your morning coffee to the slice of cheddar on your grilled backyard burger to that delicious scoop of ice cream in the evening – dairy farmers impact our lives each and every day. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 98% of farms are still family owned and operated.
From the health of their cows to the environmental impact of their farms, these dairy farmers have a lot on their plates. And thanks to their hard work, one gallon of milk today is produced with 90% less land, 65% less water and a 63% smaller carbon footprint than in 1944. That’s pretty cool! (To learn more about dairy farmers and the work they do, check out the American Dairy Association’s webpage.)
Speaking of milk, the milk you drink likely came from a dairy farm in your community. Milk travels an average of just 300 miles total from farm to store. As parents, Laura and I are always cognizant of Robbie’s diet. We want to make sure he’s eating wholesome, healthy foods. After all, he’s a growing boy…and he’s growing fast these days! Every morning, Robbie and I both drink a cup of milk before heading out to preschool. We sit and watch an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse together while we drink our milk…then we do our own version of the “Hot Dog Dance” before heading to the car. It’s our morning routine, and I love it!
While on the New York Dairy Tour, I had the chance to try a number of delicious recipes involving dairy. For today’s recipe, I recreated a dish that I ordered at a restaurant out in the Finger Lakes. Burrata Bolognese. If you haven’t tried burrata yet, then stop reading this post now. Run (don’t walk!) to the store and get some burrata. Then come back and make this Burrata Bolognese.
Burrata is closely related to mozzarella. We had the chance to make mozzarella on the trip, and I am definitely planning on trying that one here at home again. As we learned, if you can make mozzarella, then you can make burrata. Burrata is simply a pouch of mozzarella filled with a bit of cream and scraps of leftover mozzarella. The ball is pinched closed, and there you have it. Burrata. The result? When you slice into that ball of cheese, the creamy filling slowly oozes out…if you can wait that long!
This Burrata Bolognese recipe features a classic bolognese sauce served over short pasta. The bolognese simmers for several hours on the stovetop, and I can assure you that your house will smell amazing once it’s done! Spoon several ladles of that sauce over hot pasta and top it with a ball of burrata cheese. Not only is this Burrata Bolognese delicious, but it’s impressive to serve to company. In fact, we put this recipe on our short list of options to make when we need a fun dinner for friends or family.
I hope you enjoy this Burrata Bolognese as much as we do! And if you ever get the chance to give a cow flowers, do it. She deserves ’em!
Did you make this Burrata Bolognese at home? Leave a comment! Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).
Looking for other delicious, cheesy recipes? Try some of these favorites:
For the Bolognese Sauce
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 2 large carrots peeled and diced
- 16 oz. ground beef
- 4 oz. bacon finely diced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes, undrained
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 cup whole milk
For the Pasta
- 16 oz. gemelli pasta or penne if gemelli isn’t available
- 8 oz. burrata cheese
- ¼ cup Italian parsley chopped
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
For the Bolognese Sauce
- Using a stockpot or Dutch oven, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion, celery and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables have softened.
- Add beef and bacon. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 8-10 minutes, or until beef has browned.
- Add wine and let simmer for 2 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on bottom of pan.
- Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours.
- Add milk; let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 more minutes, or until milk has been completely absorbed and sauce has thickened again.
For the Pasta
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Add pasta to Bolognese Sauce and toss until well combined.
- Divide into bowls and top each bowl with a piece of burrata cheese.
- Before serving, garnish with chopped Italian parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Disclosure: I participated in the New York Dairy Tour at no cost to myself. However, the opinions and recipe are entirely my own.