Friday, September 7, 2012

corn pesto pasta with bacon and basil.

It shocks me that it took me until now, the tail end of summer, to discuss this recipe.  I don’t know where my head is at as of late, apparently it has forgotten all of my summer favorites, but the farmers market is still filled with corn and tomatoes and I’m happy I am finally bringing it to your attention rather late then never.  This is one of those rather perfect dishes.  It has all of the flavors I love (salty bacon and sweet corn!) and it’s the epitome of farmers market eating.  It’s rich and creamy with out being heavy and the basil adds a wonderful amount of freshness to the dish.  It’s a crowd pleaser (who doesn’t like corn and bacon) and it tastes just as good the next day.  It also doesn’t require anything more then a tomato salad to serve with it.  As I mentioned, its perfect and I would highly suggest immediately running to buy the six ears of corn this requires and making it before corn season is over. 

Corn Pesto Pasta with Bacon and Basil
Recipie from Bon Appetit

I have halved this with wonderful results (just in case you aren’t feeding a crowd!)

4 bacon slices, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into ½ inch pieces
4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 6 large ears)
1 large garlic cloves, minced
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan plus additional for serving
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ - 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (I always use less)
8 -12 ounces of fettuccine or really any pasta (its great with fettuccine but I made it with homemade cavetelli and it was lovely as well – I think you can use more pasta as it makes a lot of sauce)
¾ cups coarsely torn fresh basil leaves

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown, stirring often.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from the skillet.  Add corn, garlic, 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, ¾ teaspoon pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) in skillet.  Sauté over medium-high heat until corn is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes.  Transfer 1 ½ cups corn kernels to a small brown and reserve.  Scrape remaining corn mixture into processor.  Add ½ cup parmesan and pine nuts.  With machine running, add olive oil through feed tube and blend until pesto is almost smooth.  Set pesto aside. 

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but fir, to bite, stirring occasionally.  Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.  Return pasta to pot.  Add corn pesto, reserved corn kernels, and ½ cup basil leaves.  Toss pasta mixture over medium heat until warmed through, add reserved pasta liquid by ¼ cupfuls to thin to desired consistency (I only require barely ¼ cup as I like it chunky but you can add more!).  Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper. 

Transfer pasta to a large shallow bowl.  Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup basil leaves and reserved bacon.  Serve pasta with additional cheese if desired. 

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