Tomato and burrata pasta bake

    In this baked pasta dish there's all the flavour of southern Italian cuisine. It's traditionally made with stracciatella, a soft creamy cheese from Puglia, but you can easily replace it with burrata.

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    Serves: 10 

    • For the sauce
    • 500g cherry tomatoes
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • salt, to taste
    • For the pasta bake
    • 500g cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 3 to 4 leaves fresh basil, torn
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 700g short pasta (Gragnano pasta if you can find it)
    • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 3 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
    • 250g fresh burrata or stracciatella cheese, roughly chopped
    • breadcrumbs, as needed
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

    1. Blanch 500g tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and remove the skins. Cut the tomatoes in half and discard the seeds.
    2. In a saucepan heat the oil and cook the onion until translucent. Add the tomatoes and sugar and cook on medium-low heat until thickened.
    3. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
    4. In a bowl mix 500g tomatoes, garlic, basil and a pinch of salt. Toss and set to the side.
    5. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water but only cook it half of the time instructed on the package. Drain and add to a bowl with 1 tablespoon Parmesan and 1 tablespoon Pecorino. Reserve 1 ladle of tomato sauce and add the remaining to the pasta. Toss well.
    6. Ladle the reserved tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Add 1/3 of the pasta, dot with half of the burrata cheese and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan and 1 tablespoon Pecorino. Cover with more pasta and make a second layer with grated cheese and stracciatella or burrata cheese. Finish with a third layer of pasta and add on top the chopped tomatoes with garlic and basil. Make sure the basil is underneath or it will burn in the oven. Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs and drizzle with some oil.
    7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Move to the top rack and let brown the top, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for a few minutes and serve.


    You can prepare this dish several hours in advance up to the last step. Cover it so it won't dry out and refrigerate. When it's time to serve, pop it in the oven.

    Gragnano pasta

    Gragnano is a city in the Naples vicinity, home town of some of the best pasta in Italy (and probably in the world). Local pasta makers mix durum wheat with the local water which is low in calcium. Then the dough is forced through rough bronze forms (trafilata al bronzo) and dried at low temperatures in the mountain air. The result is a high quality product, slightly rough, that stays nicely firm after cooking and perfectly mixes with any sauce. You can find Gragnano pasta in many ethnic food shops, online stores and sometime in large supermarkets.

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