You Can Totally Do This: How To Make Fresh Burrata

Fresh burrata at home, with step-by-step photos

David Arias, Executive Chef at NYC Italian bistro Abboccato Italian Kitchen, has one of those great coming-up stories that starts at the dishwashing sink at 14 years old and stops at every kitchen position along the way before ending up mastering Italian cuisine with Todd English. Suffice it to say, Arias knows his Italian cheeses, and he learned how to make fresh burrata every day out of necessity. If you’ve never had it, it’s just heaven: soft mozzarella shreds in heavy cream stuffed into a tender mozzarella shell. Break the shell and the filling oozes out.

“The burrata we were getting from Italy started down in quality a little and was hard to get for a while, so we started making it ourselves,” he says. “Traditionally, nobody puts ricotta in burrata filling. We add it because the cream in Italy has a lot more fat than the cream you get here, so by adding ricotta you get that extra creaminess.”

Besides being fresher and more delicious, making it yourself is also a lot more cost-effective.

“It’s $10 per pound in a shop — if you get really good quality you’ll pay up to $12 — but when you make it yourself, the whole process costs about $3 for the same amount,” says Arias. “It’s a big difference.”

So we jotted down and photographed the process, step-by-step. You’ll probably need to make it a few times before you get the rhythm right, but that’s the hardest part. Sourcing the mozzarella curd is as easy as hitting your specialty Italian grocery store — and yes, Polly-O is the one everyone uses.

“Knowing when to add the filling can be tricky. If it’s too early and you put the filling in, it’ll stretch too much, the outer shell will be too thin and it could break,” says Arias. So practice as much as you can. And either way, you’ll still have something delicious to smear on crusty bread.

Here’s what you’ll need for 5-7 servings:







Photos by Gabi Porter (click to enlarge)