spaghetti with corn carbonara
photo by Jennifer Johnson
One of our favorite summer ingredients incorporated into a tried and true kitchen staple recipe. We absolutely love the sweetness the corn purée adds to the dish, and it surprisingly acts as a perfect sauce. The puréed corn replaces the egg in the traditional version, removing any hesitation one might have about using a raw egg to make a sauce. Be sure to use the freshest corn you can so it will give you the most liquid after it’s puréed. This is definitely an updated staple we’ll be making over and over again.
4 large ears of fresh corn, husks and silks removed
1 pound spaghetti
Kosher salt, to taste
4 slices thick-cut bacon (such as Niman Ranch), diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed into a paste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Freshly ground Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
Cut off kernels from each ear of corn. To do so, lay corn on its side and using a sharp knife, carefully cut off corn kernels from cobs (save reserved cobs to use as a base for a stock for soup). Transfer cut corn (you should have about 4 cups of kernels) to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large measuring cup and strain corn, pressing on solids to release as much liquid as possible. Do this several times to get as much liquid out as possible. You should have about 1 cup of liquid when finished. Discard solids (or save for another use).
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a pinch of salt. Add pasta and cook for 7-10 minutes, until al dente. Reserve about 2 cups of pasta water, then drain pasta.
Meanwhile, place a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain off excess fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon.
To pan, add butter and return pan to medium heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add pasta, then slowly pour in 1/2 cup reserved pasta water, then slowly add about half of strained corn mixture. Stir in another 1/2 cup reserved pasta water and cook over low heat, tossing, until sauce is creamy. Slowly add remaining strainedcorn mixture and toss everything to combine. Add additional pasta water if mixture is too thick.
Divide mixture among serving bowls and top each with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season with a good bit of pepper and serve.
for more of our favorite corn recipes, including our corn cocktail,
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