Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Easy Artichoke Arugula Pesto Burrata Pasta

Easy Artichoke Arugula Pesto Burrata Pasta

A fast-to-fix vegetarian pasta dish using farm share greens, marinated artichokes, and creamy burrata cheese. Putting up pesto is one way I keep from being overwhelmed when the farm share greens are in abundance.

I forgot to take finished, plated, photos of this dish. I also had the grill going and it just slipped my mind. I debated sharing this recipe today, seeing how it's the first day of the the farm share season and I had the potential for new and returning readers arriving on the blog and did I want to start off with less than my best foot forward?

I decided that I did. Hope you understand!

The idea that you don't have to Eat All The Greens in a Week was a revelation to me when I adjusted to eating from a CSA, and putting some items up for later use is one of the ways I feed my family from our seasonal farm share year round. We're starting our 10th year enjoying the fruits of CSA farmers' labors, and recipes like this are one the tips and tricks for farm share success. For other tips, please check out this post

When we get a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box filled with assorted greens I am emphatically not looking to throw them all into salads. There are only so many salads we can eat in a week. Instead, I'm looking to turn anything not expressly salad-like into a recipe ingredient, and I give myself bonus points if it becomes a long-storing ingredient. I've shared a concept recipe for incorporating farm share greens into pasta dishes here, which is a terrific quick use for a bunch of greens. If you've got a bit of time to do some prep work, though, you'll be reaping the benefits for months by putting up some of your greens as pesto.

Arugula pesto fits the long-storing ingredient category--typically we're getting arugula in the farm share side by side with a bag of salad greens and other cooking greens. It's useful to be able to put up a batch of pesto. I store mine in the freezer in half pint jars, with a splash of olive oil on top, using these terrific lids (Amazon affiliate link). I don't just want to share how I put up this stuff, though--I want to show you how I use what I put up.

This pasta dish is my second version of a fast burrata pasta meal. The first one, that I've made three times now [unheard of in my family] uses meat and winter squash so it will debut in the Fall. Oh, so worth the wait. I wanted a vegetarian and summer-friendly version, good for a quick supper, so I took the burrata pasta concept and here we are. Adding in artichokes just elevates a simple pasta dish into a snazzier one, though we are in danger of the kids becoming artichoke fans and eating all the leftovers. The same thing happened to us with take out Indian food, and now my picky eater tells me the spaghetti sauce needs more eggplant. Educated palates. Harrumph.

Burrata cheese was new to me, and my spellcheck keeps trying to change it to burrito. When I first bought it I thought it was just like fresh mozzarella and was sorely disappointed when the creamy center oozed all over my pizza dough. Once I embraced the gooey center I came to appreciate it for what it is (creamy), not for what it's not (solid). I've found burrata cheese at the fancy cheese counter of my local Kroger. It's pricey but perishable, which means whenever I see it marked half off/quick sale I pick it up. [Yes, I cruise the fancy cheese counter looking for magical markdown stickers--I'm married, I don't cruise bars anymore.] I know we'll enjoy burrata pasta dishes so it's worth the splurge--at half price at least.

For other recipes using arugula, please see my Arugula Recipes Collection. For other recipes using marinated artichokes, you're looking for the Recipes Using Veggies In Jars Collection. These are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for ideas when you're facing an unfamiliar ingredient. You can also find me sharing ideas via my Pinterest boards and my FB page. Want to know how to Use This Blog? Click here.
Note: I got my arugula pesto recipe from Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables (Amazon affiliate link) and will summarize here. If you want a ton of delicious recipes get the book because this book has depths. Untold depths. To make arugula pesto you'll need 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, 2-3 cups packed arugula (the older stuff is great), 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese, 1 clove garlic--or use roasted garlic if you like, 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Throw it in a food processor and have fun. I use the smaller amount of olive oil in the food processor and add a layer of additional olive oil on top once I've portioned out the pesto into storage containers. I keep mine in the freezer for up to 6 months and once thawed I'll keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Easy Artichoke Arugula Pesto Burrata Pasta (serves 6 or so)

1 pound small pasta shells (good for holding the sauce inside)
½ cup prepared arugula pesto (see Note above)
½ cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 8 ounce container (2 balls) burrata cheese
salt for the water and salt and pepper on the table for serving
optional--grated parmesan cheese

Set out all ingredients so the cheese and vegetables can lose the chill while the pasta is cooking. Once the pasta is cooked it comes together in about a minute, so be ready.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to directions on the box. When you drain it, place a cup under the strainer so you can snag a bit of pasta water. While the pasta is cooking, combine arugula pesto and artichokes in a small bowl. I used my immersion blender to make a smooth mixture because my daughter hasn't come over to the artichoke side, but if you want chunks then leave it chunky.
Toss the hot drained pasta with the vegetables (in the cooking pot if you like). Tear the burrata ball into small pieces and stir into the hot pasta. It will melt and get stringy and gooey, and if you want a runnier sauce add in some reserved pasta water. Taste and see if you want salt, pepper, and/or parmesan cheese. We went with pepper and parm. This is good served right after mixing as well as at room temperature.


  1. Now this sounds like a little taste of heaven. You have all my favorites in one dish: artichokes, pesto, using up farm share greens, cheese and pasta. Be still my heart.

    1. Meghan,
      This cheese is my current obsession. My folks were visiting recently and it was cold enough to warrant the sausage/roasted veg version of this pasta. My mom hadn't heard of burrata and was fascinated to watch me tear it open over the giant bowl of hot noodles & stuff.
      We had to tear her away from seconds to get to the concert on time!
      Keep an eye peeled for this burrata stuff--everything else can hang out waiting until you pounce on a tub and bring it home triumphantly.

  2. Oh my pesto love!!! I think I may make this when everyone goes back to school and work so I don't have to share. Simply amazing... and simple!

    1. Kim,
      I hate sharing certain foods too, and will plan to eat them when I'm home alone. Beet greens comes to mind--I adore sautéed beet greens and no one else in the family gets it, so that is my private indulgence. Yes, I am a cheap date.

  3. Fast dinner that uses up fresh veggies--you know I will love this Kirsten!