Fresh Corn Pasta

The arrival of summer brings with it an insatiable need for fresh corn. In my hometown, on the weekends, farmers will park their trucks by the side of the road and set up makeshift signs that say “corn for sale.” They will sell ears of corn that they have picked early in the morning. There is just no substitute for sweet corn because it is sweet, juicy, and has a delightful crunch.

Although eating corn on the cob is without a doubt the most authentic way to enjoy the seasonal vegetable, it is also enjoyable to transform it into a main dish that is both simple and quick to prepare. The fresh sweet corn retains its position at the forefront of this creamy pasta, where it should be. Corn, cream, garlic, shallot, and Parmesan are the ingredients that make up a straightforward sauce that can be prepared in a short amount of time. Red pepper flakes lend a bit of fire to the dish, and fresh lemon and parsley keep things bright.

Although it is lighter and more delicious than either mac & cheese or creamed corn, creamy corn pasta is a dish that falls somewhere in the middle of the two aforementioned dishes. An fantastic main course for the summers, it can be prepared in less than half an hour. If you want to make a complete meal out of it, serve it with a simple summer salad, a vegetable side, or some grilled fish, shrimp, or chicken.

Tips for Cutting Corn Off the Cob

Pasta

Due to the fact that newly liberated kernels have a tendency to bounce around your kitchen and cause a tiny mess, there are a lot of different methods that may be used to remove corn from the cob. If you have a bundt pan on hand, you may try inserting the tip of the ear into the center hole and then taking your knife and running it down the sides of the bundt pan. For the most part, the kernels will be caught by the circular pan.

Because my bundt pan is frequently out of reach, I resort to a method that is less time-consuming. The corn is held by the stalk end while the pointy end is sitting perpendicular to the plate. I place a shallow bowl or plate in the sink and then hold the corn by the stalk end. As I move the knife down the ear, I slice off the kernels while simultaneously turning the ear throughout the process. You are free to go to the countertop if you feel that it is more sturdy, but the sink will be able to capture any mess that may occur.

After you have removed the kernels from the ear, it is important to remember to run the back of your knife down the entire ear, regardless of the method that you choose to use. This will allow the juicy inside to be released, which is the most tasty part of the corn and also contributes to the creamy texture of the sauce.

Picking a Pasta Shape

Large tube pasta or shapes with some twists and turns work best for creamy corn pasta since they’ll successfully trap the corn and the sauce, giving you flavor in every bite. I like tubular shapes like rigatoni, crinkly shapes like farfalle (also known as bowties), or shells (conchiglie). Orecchiette and penne are also good choices.

If you have fresh or homemade pasta like pappardelle, by all means use it. You can even use the creamy corn sauce to top cheese ravioli.

Recipe Variations

  • Spicy: Up the red pepper flakes to your taste or swap for Calabrian chili paste.
  • No alcohol: While all the alcohol cooks off during cooking, you can swap it for vegetable broth or water if you’d prefer an alternative.
  • Bacon: Add cooked, crumbled bacon at the end for a meaty addition and salty bite.
  • Frozen or canned corn: This recipe will not be as good since the flavor and texture of fresh corn can’t be beat, but you can swap the fresh corn for frozen (no need to defrost first) or drained canned corn.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dry pasta, such as rigatoni, farfalle, or conchiglie
  • 3 ears fresh sweet corn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water and to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Method

  1. Cook the pasta:

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and season generously with salt. Add the pasta, stir, and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Reserve a cup of pasta water just before draining.

    Pot of Pasta for Fresh Corn Pasta
     

  2. Meanwhile, remove the corn from the cob:

    Shuck the corn, discarding the husks and removing as much of the silks as possible.

    Set a large, shallow bowl in the sink. Hold a shucked ear of corn by the stalk end and position it upright with the tapered end steadied against the bottom of the bowl. Use a large knife to shave the corn kernels from the cob, working in long strips down towards the bottom of the bowl.

    Once all the kernels are removed, run the back of the knife down the entire ear using the same motion. This will remove any creamy juice left behind on the cob which gives the pasta lots of flavor. Repeat with the remaining ears of corn.

    Fresh Corn Cut off the Cob for Pasta Recipe
     

    Fresh Corn Cut off Cob for Corn Pasta Recipe
     

  3. Make the sauce:

    In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the shallot and sauté until translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

    Add the corn and their juices, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the red pepper flakes. Stir. Add the white wine and simmer until most of it has cooked off, about 2 minutes.

    Add the cream and bring to a low simmer, reducing the heat as needed. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.

    Garlic Sautéed for Fresh Corn Pasta
     

    Corn Added to Pot for Fresh Corn Pasta
     

    Cream Added to Corn for Pasta
     

  4. Finish the sauce and toss with the pasta:

    Add the Parmesan to the sauce a little at a time, stirring each time to ensure it melts. Add the parsley, reserving a small handful for garnish. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine.

    Add the drained pasta and 1/3 cup of reserved pasta water to the sauce. Increase the heat to medium and toss continuously until all of the pasta is coated and the sauce is clinging to the pasta. If needed, add more pasta water, a tablespoon or so at a time, and keep tossing until you have a creamy sauce.

    Parmesan Added to Pot for Fresh Corn Pasta
     

    Sauce for Fresh Corn Pasta
     

    Fresh Corn Pasta on a Spoon and More in a Pot
     

  5. Garnish and serve:

    Taste the pasta, adding more salt and red pepper flakes, if needed. Spoon onto plates or into bowls and top with the remaining parsley. Serve immediately.

    This pasta is best eaten fresh, but leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or in a nonstick skillet, adding a splash or 2 of water or cream to loosen the sauce.

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    Bowl of Fresh Corn Pasta Recipe

FAQ

What is Fresh Corn Pasta?

Fresh Corn Pasta is a type of pasta made with fresh corn kernels incorporated into the pasta dough. This variation adds a subtle sweetness and vibrant color to the pasta, making it a unique and flavorful option.

How is Fresh Corn Pasta made?

To make Fresh Corn Pasta, start by pureeing fresh corn kernels in a blender or food processor until smooth. Then, combine the corn puree with flour, eggs, and a pinch of salt to form a dough. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then let it rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax. After resting, roll out the dough into thin sheets and cut it into your desired pasta shapes, such as fettuccine, tagliatelle, or ravioli. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, then toss with your favorite sauce and serve.

What ingredients are needed to make Fresh Corn Pasta?

Fresh Corn Pasta typically requires fresh corn kernels, all-purpose flour, eggs, and salt. Some variations may also include semolina flour or durum wheat flour for added texture and structure. You can also experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavor of the pasta dough.

Can I use frozen or canned corn to make Fresh Corn Pasta?

While fresh corn kernels are ideal for making Fresh Corn Pasta, you can certainly use frozen or canned corn as a substitute. Thaw frozen corn kernels or drain canned corn before pureeing them in a blender or food processor. Keep in mind that the texture and flavor may vary slightly depending on the type of corn you use, but it will still yield delicious pasta.

What are some serving suggestions for Fresh Corn Pasta?

Fresh Corn Pasta pairs well with a variety of sauces, from simple herb-infused olive oil to creamy Alfredo or vibrant pesto. You can also toss the cooked pasta with sautéed vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms for a colorful and nutritious meal. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, chopped herbs, or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for added flavor and presentation. Fresh Corn Pasta is versatile and can be enjoyed in many different ways to suit your taste preferences.

 

 

 

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