Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil

When Dinner: A Love Story posted about how easy and restaurant-worthy this recipe was, I knew I needed to make it. We love the combination of corn and basil, and we love any kind of pasta dish (as you can probably tell). I also appreciate how this creamy pasta doesn't require any cream at all. This came together so quickly and tasted so fresh and summery that I know we will be making it for years to come. 

The only change I really made was scaling up the recipe so that I could use the full pound of pasta I had rather than 12 oz, because I hate nothing more than pasta recipes that only call for 12 oz. Part of me blogging about this is having my new and improved version of this recipe written down so I don't have to do all the annoying mental math next time. You're welcome!

Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil

(Slightly adapted from NY Times Food)

  • 16 oz dry orecchiette, farfalle, or any other short pasta you have on hand (I used penne)
  • 1 1/3 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 3 ears corn, shucked and kernels removed
  • 2/3 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to taste
  • 2/3 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Fresh lemon juice, as needed

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta until 1 minute shy of al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 2/3 cup pasta water and drain pasta. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add scallion whites and a large pinch of salt. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Add 1/3 cup water and all but 1/3 cup corn. Simmer until corn is heated through and almost tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add 1/3 tsp salt and 1/3 tsp black pepper. 
  4. Transfer corn mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, adding a little water if needed to get it to a thick, pourable consistency. Set aside. 
  5. In the same large skillet, add the butter and melt over high heat. Add reserved 1/3 cup corn and cook until tender, 1-2 minutes. 
  6. Add the reserved corn puree and cook for 30 seconds to heat through and combine the flavors. 
  7. Reduce heat to medium. Add pasta and half the reserved pasta water to pan. Cook for 1 minute, then add more reserved pasta water if the mixture looks too thick. Stir in 1/3 cup scallion greens, the Parmesan, the basil, the red pepper flakes, 1/3 tsp salt, and 1/3 tsp pepper. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to taste. 
  8. Transfer to bowls and top with scallion greens, a drizzle of olive oil, and Parmesan to taste. 

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