I love to make pasta and I love to eat pasta but I don’t think I’ve ever made a pasta dish with corn. I guess that’s why I was tempted by this recipe, spotted in the latest issue of Bon Apetit. And the idea of corn “pesto” was certainly intriguing!
So, we made it tonight and really enjoyed it. It’s a new and different taste experience but the flavours are really nice together. The husband (who loves it when I call him that) felt it needed more bacon (of course!), but we both agreed it was a nice, summer pasta dish and we would definitely make it again. I think it’s a dish I’d like to play with a bit, perhaps by adding some of the basil to the corn pesto, a bit more garlic or maybe trying it with grilled corn.
We adapted the dish slightly with a sprinkling of fresh, chopped tomatoes and pecorino cheese, for sprinkling.
Recipe: Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto
Summary: This is a great summer pasta, that makes use of corn “milk” for a creamy sauce, instead of milk or cream. The corn is also added to the pesto, as well.
- 6 bacon slices, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine
- 3/4 cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves, divided
- Optional: 1/2 cup chopped tomato, for garnish
- Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown, stirring often. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Remove all but 1 Tbsp. of bacon drippings from the skillet. Add corn, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until corn is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the corn kernels to a small bowl and set aside.
- Scrape the remaining corn mixture into a food processor. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and the pine nuts. With machine running, add olive oil through and blend until pesto is almost smooth. Set aside.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to the same pot. Add corn pesto, reserved corn kernels, and 1/2 cup basil leaves. Toss pasta mixture over medium heat until warmed through, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time to thin the sauce to the desired consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil leaves and reserved bacon. Serve pasta, with additional grated Parmesan.
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 40 min
Number of servings (yield): 4