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Tagliatelle Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto

Pasta with Corn Pesto

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!

Bring some fresh summer sweet corn to your pasta with this fresh corn pasta recipe! Here tagliatelle pasta is combined with a fresh corn pesto, for a light and fresh summer dish.

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.

Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto

Tagliatelle Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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.
Recipe type: Main Courses
Serves: 4

  • 6 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/4 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. 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
  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown, stirring often. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. Remove all but 1 Tbsp. of bacon drippings from the skillet. Add the corn, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the corn is just tender but not browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the corn kernels to a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Scrape the remaining corn mixture into a food processor. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and the pine nuts. With machine running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until the pesto is almost smooth. Set aside.
  4. 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 the 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.
  5. Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil leaves and reserved bacon. top with some diced tomato, if desired. Serve pasta, with additional grated Parmesan.
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  • Yummy dish, even with frozen corn! I made it with walnuts instead of pine nuts, and it was still great! It definitely needs the fresh tomatoes as you mention – we found it quite rich and the tomatoes helped to cut that a bit.
    Our whole family – including my kids, 1 and 3 – enjoyed this dish – thanks for sharing!

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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