I don’t know about you…but, I measure my summer in corn and tomatoes. Looking through recent photos…I’ve gone a little heavy on the corn as of late. I was flipping through a cookbook at my parents and this recipe for Corn and Parmesan Pesto with Tagliatelle immediately caught my eye! Fresh pasta with a fresh corn pesto topped accented with a little bacon and fresh basil just screamed SUMMER to me! I had to make it and make it, I did.
The book is The Farm: rustic recipes for a year of incredible food by Ian Knauer, and after making this dish and drooling over the photos throughout…it is definitely on my cookbook wish-list! He also happens to have a blog as I found out while researching a bit and I have now bookmarked this recipe (dare I try yet another buttermilk panna cotta?) as well as this one for future endeavors.
I don’t know why I had not thought of corn pesto before…but it will for sure have a place in my summer repertoire from now on! Hmmm…I wonder what other types of pesto I could make? Mushroom pesto…what about a zucchini and summer squash pesto…?
The recipe (courtesy of Ian Knauer) is shown below and includes a few adaptations I made…adding bacon and scallions and using store-bought fresh fettucine pasta.
3 tbsp.’s plus 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
kosher salt and black pepper
½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
8 ounces of tagliatelle or fettucine
5-7 strips of thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
3-4 scallions, green and light green parts only, thinly sliced
¾ cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmer. Add the corn, onion, garlic, 1¼ teaspoons of salt, and ¾teaspoon pepper and sauté until the corn is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes.
- Transfer 1½ cups of the corn kernels to a small bowl. Scrape the remaining corn mixture into a food processor. Add the parmesan and the toasted pine nuts. With the machine running, add the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil and blend until the pesto is almost smooth.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1½ cups of the pasta-cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot.
- Add the corn pesto, the reserved corn mixture and ½ cup of the basil leaves as well as the crumbled crispy bacon.
- Toss the pasta over medium heat until warmed through, adding the reserved pasta-cooking water to thin to the desired consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Season the pasta to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the pasta to a large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup basil leaves and the sliced scallions and serve with additional grated parmesan.
I doubled the recipe as I was feeding a crowd, and having leftover bacon (what a phenomenom…leftover…bacon…?) from breakfast, I couldn’t resist adding it to the dish. I think the smoky bacon flavor countered the sweetness of the corn, the bite of the onions and the freshness of the basil really nicely.
Are you a corn purist? Eating it straight up on the cob with melted butter and salt…or do you prefer your corn as kernels and mixed in and amongst other ingredients?