Time to mix up pasta night! This Sausage and Basil Campanelle with Burrata is a delicious weeknight dinner idea!
I feel really bad about this recipe. You see, I made it on the day Laura left for a work trip to Cincinnati. But I needed dinner for myself, and this one was on the list. But I feel bad as this is pretty much Laura’s perfect meal. She’s half-Italian, so pasta recipes earn extra kudos around here. But then there’s Italian sausage. And roasted tomatoes. And burrata cheese. I sent Laura a photo of this, and she just responded, “Jerk.” (She doesn’t actually think that, but I’m sure this Sausage and Basil Campanelle with Burrata beat the heck out of her airport food that night!)
As I’ve mentioned many times, we plant an herb and veggie garden here every summer. Our growing season is short in upstate New York, though, and our herbs are often just reaching full maturity when those early frosty nights start to come around in late September. Last year, we picked our stupidly insane amount of fresh basil and turned it into pesto which we then froze in small batches. I think we’ll have enough pesto for the next couple or 14 years. We also had a ton of fresh oregano, and I just couldn’t bear to see it wither away and die, so I dehydrated it.
As I pointed out in this Venison Jerky post, a dehydrator can do a whole lot more than just make jerky. We’ve used it to make dehydrated sweet potato treats for the dogs. We’ve dehydrated fruit (more on that in another post). And we’ve dehydrated herbs. I picked all of that fresh oregano and then popped it into the dehydrator. A number of hours later I came back to find dried oregano. Awesome!
In the end, I decided dehydrating herbs was a bit too time intensive for me. (I had to clean dirt from each leaf and then strip the tougher stalks out.) I mean a jar of dried oregano in the store costs what…a buck or two? But it was still a fun experiment, and now we have an entire sandwich bag stuffed with dried oregano. This Sausage and Basil Campanelle with Burrata helped reduce that bag by 2 teaspoons. Hey, every bit counts, right?
We love pasta around here. That should be obvious enough based on the number of pasta recipes that rotate through the blog. But this Sausage and Basil Campanelle with Burrata is unique in that it doesn’t have a sauce. Instead, you take a bunch of cherry tomatoes, toss ’em in olive oil and then bake them until they’re soft. Those get tossed with the pasta and sausage to create a flavorful, sauceless pasta dish. Don’t get me wrong…I love pasta sauce! I’m that guy who spends 5 minutes scraping up every bit of sauce from the bowl. But the roasted tomatoes here bring a ton of flavor, and this recipe is definitely worthy of a spot on your menu plan. Plus, it includes burrata.
On that note, my love affair with burrata continues. Don’t worry: Laura knows about this love affair. In fact, she supports it and has the same feelings…so I guess that means we have a love triangle with burrata. Does that make us weird people? If you’re not familiar with burrata cheese, then you need to be! Burrata is very similar to fresh mozzarella, and in fact the outer shell of the ball of burrata is indeed mozzarella cheese. But the inner portion is filled with fresh, soft cream. I love fresh mozzarella (especially on homemade pizza!), but burrata takes it to a whole new level. It’s a bit more expensive, and it can be hard to find, but it’s worth the effort! Enjoy!
Oh, and speaking of pasta, Laura and I just booked a vacation to Italy. We’re heading to Venice and Florence, and we may or may not be going on a truffle hunting trip while we’re there. Stay tuned. I’m sure that trip will inspire several fun new recipes for the blog in a couple of months!
Sausage and Basil Campanelle with Burrata
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 16 oz. campenelle pasta
- 16 oz. Italian sausage hot or mild, sliced
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 4 oz. burrata cheese sliced into wedges
- ¼ cup fresh basil torn into large pieces
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, toss the halved tomatoes with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet; bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Place tomatoes in a large bowl; set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain cooked pasta, but reserve ¼ cup of pasta water after cooking.
- Meanwhile, place sausage with the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 more minutes, stirring often.
- Drain excess fat and transfer sausage and garlic into bowl with tomatoes.
- Add oregano and cooked pasta to the bowl and toss until well-combined. If needed, add a bit of the reserved pasta water to loosen mixture.
- Place pasta onto plates and top with burrata and basil. Finish with freshly ground black pepper and a light drizzle of olive oil before serving.