corn, bacon and parmesan pasta – smitten kitchen

bacon corn and parmesan pasta

Recipes

corn, bacon and parmesan pasta

Oh, hi, I am ready for summer now. What did I miss?

Because the first half of this summer was so busy — a manuscript due, a redesign set off into the world, a birthday, and a zillion other bits of happy work/life chaos — I’m in this funny position of looking up for the first time mid-July and realizing that no mysterious person has arrived while I was buried in winter recipe testing and font fine-tunings and filled my freezer with popsicles, put a bowl of heirloom tomatoes on the counter, ready for their caprese closeup [realistically, this doesn’t happen even if I had been paying attention, but let me enjoy this rose-colored Pinterest fantasy just the same] and beach? Hadn’t seen it since May. I have about seven weeks left to catch up, except I know at least five of those will be buried under recipe testing and book edits, which basically means it’s now or never to do all the summer things I haven’t yet.

Beach? Check. Swimming? Check. Grilling? Check, check, check. Scheduled 7-hour flight with 4 adults and 5 children to a faraway beach town in the name of vacation? I’m scared but: check! Do everything I can with sweet summer corn while it lasts? Let’s get to work!

those curls of steam (!)
crispy bits

We had some leftover corn on the cob after Father’s Day and I shaved it off the cob and sautéed it in the renderings left behind from crispy bits of bacon (also tangentially related to Father’s Day), tossed the two with al dente pasta and a bit of cooking water with parmesan, chives and basil and it was really lovely and very summery and, because this is 2016, took a picture of it and posted it on Instagram and promised to share the recipe later and three weeks later, here we are! I am sure everyone was at the edge of their seat. Let my ridiculousness not hold you up: this should be a new summer staple, so easy, happy, kid-friendly and welcoming of all matter of laziness (you can decide to make this 20 or so minutes before you eat it) and adaptations (bacon not your thing? add some diced tomatoes at the end).

pasta with corn bacon and parmesan
pasta with corn bacon and parmesan

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Corn, Bacon and Parmesan Pasta

Think of this as a close cousin to the bacon corn hash in the archives. I think this would also be delicious with farro or another grain instead of pasta. If you’d like a creamier pasta, a big spoonful of mascarpone stirred in at the end would be otherworldly; use a little less pasta cooking water if so.

  • 8 ounces dried pasta (I used spirals here and radiatore in the past)
  • 1/4 pound bacon, ideally thick-cut, diced
  • 2 ears corn, shucked and kernels cut from cob
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
  • Fistful of fresh basil and chives, chopped

If you’re hoping to pull this all off in one pan, cook your pasta in a large deep saute pan* until al dente, or 1 to 2 minutes before it is done. Reserve a cup of pasta cooking water and drain. Wipe pan dry if using for the next steps, otherwise, you can get started in a large frying pan.

Scatter bacon in pan over medium-high heat, no need to heat the pan first. Cook, stirring, until evenly browned and crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon bits to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from pan (save for other fun stuff, like frying eggs) and add corn to it. Season corn with salt and pepper and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add pasta and a couple splashes of the cooking water and half the parmesan and toss, toss, toss the pasta with the corn, seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed and adding more cooking water if it doesn’t feel loose enough. Add scallions and stir to warm. Stir in bacon and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and fresh herbs. Dig in.

* this is my go-to for a lot of things these days because it is both shallow saucepan with a lid and and a big deep frying pan

First published July 19, 2016 on smittenkitchen.com |
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