Corn, chilies and burrata

Sweet corn, chilies and burrata over fettucini

July 5, 2010 · 37 comments

I felt pretty darn lucky this week

My friend Daniel, a talented graphic designer (he designed the local lemons logo) and photographer, had the opportunity to photograph Alice Waters last week. Alice Waters! I know I mention her often, but my cooking really wouldn’t be the same without her influence. I adore all her recipes, her way of life, her philosophy – and I’ve daydreamed about one day sharing a meal with her.

So imagine how great a day it was when Daniel showed up at my door with an autographed copy of her new cookbook, addressed specifically to me.

And, he spoke to her about me! That means I’m on her radar–she knows who I am. I can’t believe it! For me, this is on par with a sports fanatic who gets to meet Tiger Woods or Derek Jeter. I know, I know, technically I didn’t exactly meet her. But that’s okay, I came pretty close, and that’s enough to make me giddy.

If I ever had the chance to cook for Alice Waters, maybe I’d make this pasta dish. It’s seasonal, simple, uses local ingredients (except for the prosciutto di parma, but I think she’d forgive me), and it’s delicious. If you’ve never had burrata before, look for it at your local cheese shop – or sometimes you can find it at Whole Foods. It’s akin to fresh mozzarella, but softer and creamier. The thin outer skin is made from a curd, and the lush interior is similar to un-pulled mozzarella, with the addition of heavy cream. I normally eat burrata on top of a crusty baguette, topped with fruity olive oil and course sea salt.

The inspiration for burrata with pasta came from this month’s issue of food and wine, where it was paired with marinated eggplant. I opted for summer’s sweet corn instead, paired with chunks of prosciutto, dried chilies, homemade breadcrumbs and garnished with basil.

This is definitely a meal to impress. It comes together super fast, and a melange of sweet, salty and spicy comes through with every bite. I wonder what Alice would think of this dish. Or if I’ll ever get that chance to share a table with her. Either way, she knows who I am. That’s enough to make my day.

Sweet corn, burrata and chilies over fettucini
Serves 2

2 ears of corn
1/4 pound burrata
4 dried red chilies, cut into small pieces
1/8-1/4 pound prosciutto di parm (get a chunk and cut it into 1/2 inch pieces)
1/2 cup homemade breadcrumbs (recipe below)
1/2 cup parmigiana reggiano, freshly shredded
1/2 pound fettucini (dried or fresh would work nicely)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt

Half of a day-old baguette
1 teaspoon sea salt
A small handful of fresh basil leaves

Fill a large pot with water, and while you are waiting for it to come to a boil, start the sauce and the breadcrumbs.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place all the ingredients for the breadcrumbs in a food processor and grind until small. Spread breadcrumbs in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil on top, and bake for 10 minutes. The breadcrumbs should be lightly browned and dry.

Hold the corn straight up in a large bowl, and using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off all sides of the cob. You can use a cutting board, but using the bowl makes it easier to catch all the kernels.

Heat up a large skillet and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the pieces of prosciutto and cook for 4 minutes, or until slightly crunchy, but not burnt. Remove prosciutto with a slotted spoon.

If water is boiling, add fettucini and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.

Add corn and chilies to the skillet and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat to low and add shredded parmigiana cheese and prosciutto, stir for a minute, and turn off the heat. Add a 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and taste for salt.

Combine fettucini, cooking water to the skillet and toss to combine.

Remove the skin from the burrata, and add half of the cheese to the skillet. Gently toss again. Use tongs to plate the pasta and dot the rest of the cheese on top. Garnish with torn basil leaves, and a last thin drizzle of olive oil.

Where I Shopped:
Gioia burrata, red chilies, prosciutto di parma: The Pasta Shop, Oakland
Corn, basil: Temescal Farmers’ Market, Oakland

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is July 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm

That sounds like an incredible pasta dish! Perfect for summer with the delicious corn.


Anh July 5, 2010 at 6:57 pm

A great dish that speaks of summer!


The Wife of a Dairyman July 5, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I hope you one day get your chance to cook for Alice :) This looks like a delicious dish!


Jaelyn April 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm

At last, soemone comes up with the “right” answer!


Chris July 5, 2010 at 7:22 pm

So cute! Your excitement jumps right off the post. Hope you do get to meet her one day.

Your dish? I would love some this moment!


Yamary December 28, 2011 at 10:39 am

At last! Somtnehig clear I can understand. Thanks!


Maggie July 5, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Looks delicious–love the contrast of creamy burrata with spicy chilies!


phyllis grant July 5, 2010 at 8:41 pm

beautiful pasta dish! something magical about corn, burrata, and prosciutto. kids are asleep. ready to cook dinner for me. i wish i had these ingredients. i’ve enjoyed following the little mac story. can’t wait to come by with my kids. what’s the latest? phyllis


Megan Gordon July 5, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Nothing like really good burrata…and Alice Waters isn’t so bad herself. I agree: The Art of Simple Food has taught me so much–kind of really how to be more of an intuitive cook than anything. And you’re certainly a great example of someone who makes it look quite natural (and I’ve seen you cook in person, too, and I’d say the same thing!) This looks incredible: great flavor combination with the sweet corn, salty pancetta, and creamy burrata. Will try for sure. And…great to see you, too! Leaning towards Oakland… :)


Dana July 5, 2010 at 11:40 pm

We have a really good Italian store in the Pike Place Market that sells burrata only occasionally. Every time I am down there, I check in to see if they have it – it is magical stuff. I think this dish so clearly speaks to who you are as a cook – perfect ingredients put together perfectly. Alice Waters knows a thing or two about that.


Nick (Macheesm0) July 6, 2010 at 5:25 am

Wow. So colorful and inventive. Perfect for the summer.

I love me some Alice Waters ;)


Beth @ bethcooks July 6, 2010 at 11:09 am

Wow. This looks amazing! Definitely making this soon :)


Gastronomer July 6, 2010 at 11:34 am

Damn that plate of pasta looks insanely tasty! I will be making this recipe while the corn is still cheap at the grocery store :-)


Charles G Thompson July 6, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Love burrata with anything. This looks delicious. I met Alice at a book signing for ‘In The Green Kitchen.’ She’s done, and is doing, amazing things.


Angela@spinachtiger July 6, 2010 at 7:34 pm

This is my kind of dish. I’ve cooked with fresh corn a dozen times already. And, I, too am an Alice Waters groupie. She feels like the right kind of mentor.


heather @ chiknpastry July 7, 2010 at 7:11 am

looks great, and i’m sure alice would approve! maybe she’ll show up at your restaurant one day and then you can meet her AND cook for her!


The Food Hunter July 7, 2010 at 10:52 am

This looks amazing…all of my favorites in one dish.


Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen July 8, 2010 at 10:19 am

It looks fantastic!


Krista July 8, 2010 at 5:56 pm

wow. this is amazing. we just moved East from the Bay Area, and broke in our kitchen with this dish. it really was the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, and salty (i was afraid that it was too salty when I tasted it partway through, but really everything blended together wonderfully). and this, despite the fact i was working with sub-par burrata. thanks for sharing. this will make it in to our rotation.


Erica July 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Another beautiful dish, Allison!!!Perfect to use fresh corn.


Janet July 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Oh, this looks so tasty! That corn is beautiful. I still have yet to try burrata – this must be remedied immediately!


Stephanie (Fresh Tart) July 16, 2010 at 9:32 am

That is some gorgeous-looking dish, I’m looking for burrata today (hope I can find it)! And thx for the reminder to re-peruse my Chez Panisse cookbook, I see new things every time I look at it.


Aleks July 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I made this last week and it was awesome. I used buffalo mozz because Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry magical burrata cheese – and it still turned out great. Next time I’m going to find me some burrata. This is totally becoming my staple.

Thanks for the awesome recipe!

PS: I got Alice’s cookbook in the mail and it is AMAZING. Thank you!


kellypea April 28, 2011 at 11:05 am

Mmm…inspiration for my lunch today. Love corn cooked this way so much. Enjoyed fresh burrata this past weekend in a leek salad with white anchovies. Really wonderful — just like your dish looks.


zak³ady bukamcherskie May 16, 2011 at 7:16 am



Beth June 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I hope she reads this post. What a thrill for you!


Man Mauser August 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

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Tarn September 30, 2011 at 1:34 am

This looks delicious!, Alice Walters is my new favourite xx


Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) November 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Just discovered this recipe on Saveur! It looks incredible. Love the concept, design, and photographs on your blog. Your food looks so clean, flavorful, and fresh–which is exactly the type of food I love and am inspired by.

Cheers! :)


Vahtikoira January 20, 2012 at 10:30 am

A mouth-watering recipe. Thanks for sharing this!


Russ April 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

Firstly great photographs.

This recipe sounds and looks so fresh, tahks for the ideas.



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