Summer pasta with burrata and garlic flatbreads  

It’s worth shelling out on the finest flatbreads and the best cheese for this dish

 

I rarely make garlic bread. My kids had it for the first time a few months ago and they all loved it. When I was little it was one of the first jobs we learned to do in the kitchen.

With so many children in the house my mother would always make pasta or lasagna with potato wedges, salads and garlic bread. Huge trays of gorgeous herb filled lasagnas that needed to be cut into eight or twelve equal portions depending on who was visiting or who had friends over. Baguettes filled with garlic butter and wrapped in silver foil would always be stuffed into the oven alongside a roast chicken or tuna and corn pasta bake.

It was always so tasty. Pure comfort food.

So now I’m making garlic bread for my own kids and I’ve recently started to make it with these gorgeous flatbreads from Alsham Bakery in Cork, they’re available at The Alternative Bread Stall in The English Market, in a few Halal shops and Super Valu stores. These are the traditional Syrian flatbreads that are eaten at almost every meal, made by Mohamed Ghnaimi and his team.

You could use white yeast or sourdough bread too, just make sure you slice it thinly. I mix finely grated parmesan with the butter to give a nutty, crispy finish. It’s perfect to serve with this incredibly creamy and delicious burrata, or, as I like to call it, the Queen of Italian Cheese. I get freshly made burrata from Toonsbridge in Macroom via The Olive Stall at the English Market in Cork. Seek out the freshest burrata you can find. It’s made from mozzarella that is formed into a pouch and then filled with cream and stringy curd. It really is as rich and indulgent as it sounds, and the perfect celebration of what Irish dairy has to offer.

It’s nice to place the burrata whole on top of the pasta, then cut it open at the table and serve with the garlic breads for scooping it all up. A good-quality mozzarella could be used in its place and this would still be good, but do try to use burrata if you come across it.

For a simple starter serve the fresh cheese on a platter with ribbons of salty parma ham, fresh peach segments and fragrant basil leaves. So simple but delicious.

Summer pasta with burrata and garlic flatbreads  

Serves 6
400g fresh egg conchiglie pasta
800g broad beans (200g podded weight)
200g frozen peas (or fresh if available)
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 handful mint leaves, roughly torn
1 Burrata
Sea salt & Black Pepper

4 flat breads
3 tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. finely grated parmesan

Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the fresh pasta until done – four minutes is usually enough. Drain and return to the pan, keeping a little of the cooking water in the pan too. Stir the pasta shells with a splash of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Remove the outer skin from the broad beans. Bring another pot of salted water to the boil. Add the peas and broad beans and simmer for two minutes.

To make the garlic bread, mix the grated parmesan, crushed garlic and butter together. Spread over the flatbreads and place under a hot grill until bubbling and toasted. This burns easily so keep a close eye on it. Cut each flatbread into four and keep warm.

Once the peas and beans are cooked drain them over the sink and add to the warm pasta. Mix gently with the lemon juice and shredded mint leaves. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter, place the burrata in the centre and serve right away with the warm garlic breads.

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