Pasta Centerpiece

This eye-popping centerpiece is not only impressive, but also completely edible. A crispy pasta bowl is filled with homemade marinara and meatballs, then topped off with decadent, cream-filled burrata.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Pasta:

2 pounds angel hair pasta

Olive oil, for the bowl and pasta

Marinara Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1/4 medium onion, diced 

Three 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes, roughly chopped 

3 sprigs fresh thyme 

1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Meatballs:

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup milk 

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 large egg

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Topping:

8 ounces sliced prosciutto

2 balls burrata cheese

Olive oil, for drizzling

1 large sprig fresh basil

Directions

Special equipment:
a 13-inch metal bowl; an 11-inch metal bowl
  1. For the pasta: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain. Spread out on a baking sheet and let cool until easy to handle, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Oil the inside of a 13-inch metal bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil. Put the pasta in the bowl and spread it evenly so that it goes all the way up the sides of the bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Oil the outside of an 11-inch metal bowl and place it inside the other bowl on top of the pasta, pressing down firmly to compact the pasta in the larger bowl. 
  4. Bake until the edges are golden, about 1 hour. Remove the smaller bowl and continue to bake until golden all over, about 1 hour more. Let cool for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a large rimmed serving platter. 
  5. For the marinara sauce: Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic and onion, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme sprigs and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and season with pepper. 
  6. For the meatballs: Combine the beef, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, milk, garlic, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper in a bowl. Form the mixture into 12 meatballs. 
  7. Transfer the meatballs to the marinara sauce. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer until the meatballs are cooked, about 15 minutes. 
  8. For the topping: Line the inside of the pasta bowl with the prosciutto, spoon in the meatballs and sauce and top with the burrata balls. Drizzle with olive oil and top with a sprig of basil. 

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