Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Creamy Corn Pasta With Basil

CORN! But more about that later.

So with the new house, I planted some cilantro and some basil. No real plan honestly. It just sounded like a good idea at the time. We had grown cilantro at the last place and I figured I should expand. The problem is I did not have any recipes in mind for the copious amounts of basil. 

So the obvious answer is pesto. Great fine. I should make pesto. But I am a non-conformist at heart, so fuck your pesto. Instead I made this!

Mind you, I am a practical non-conformist. This used a tiny amount of basil compared to what I have. So I should probably still make pesto...

Sea salt
12 ounces dry pasta (the original recipe called for orecchiette or farfalle, I used rotini)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 bunch scallions (about 8), trimmed and thinly sliced (keep the whites and greens separate)
2 cups CORN kernals (about 3 large ears shucked)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus lots more for garnish
1/3 cup finely torn basil
1 chicken breast fully cooked and diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until 1 minute shy of al dente. Drain, reserving about a 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat; add scallion whites and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and all but 1/4 cup CORN; simmer until CORN is heated through and almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, transfer to a blender, and purée mixture until smooth, adding a little extra water if needed to get a thick but pourable texture.

Heat the pan over high heat. Add butter and let melt. Add reserved 1/4 cup CORN and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. (It’s O.K. if the butter browns, that deepens the flavor.) Add the CORN purée and cook for 30 seconds to heat and combine the flavors.

Reduce heat to medium. Add pasta and 1/4 cup the reserved pasta cooking water, tossing to coat. Cook for 1 minute, then add a little more of the pasta cooking water if the mixture seems too thick. Stir in 1/4 cup of the scallion greens, the Parmesan, the herbs, 1/4 teaspoon pepper (less to taste), 1/4 teaspoon salt, and chicken. Sprinkle with lemon juice and remaining olive oil (less to taste). Garnish with more scallions and basil.

I eliminated red pepper flakes. I added chicken. Why because these things please the wifey. Happy wife = happy life. Anyway the original recipe can be found here.

I bought two ears for fresh sweet corn. I wanted fresh because this was using fresh basil from my garden picked about an hour and half before dinner. This is going to be all fresh damnit!

Good Intentions


I cook a fair bit and I like to cook weird things. That said, pasta sauce is diary based, oil based, tomato based, stock based, etc. A corn based sauce weirds me out. 

If you are still reading at this point, I just really like CORN. Growing up there was a local farm that had excellent sweet. Or more likely it was pretty average sweet corn, but childhood memories make me have an irrational like for CORN, so CORN!

Simply delicious. Easily the best thing I have made recently. Make sure not to skimp on the cheese though.