The Boastful Baker

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A homemade pasta dish I actually liked.

I like pasta. Not as much as some people but I do like it. Yet I rarely make pasta at home as I’m usually not satisfied with the finished dish. Sometimes the sauce isn’t right or the pasta is overcooked. Sometimes the accompaniments to the pasta lack the flavor I was hoping for and sometimes the plate of pasta just isn’t that good despite my efforts. (Lasagna is an exclusion but I don’t make lasagna very often.)

When I got the August 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living in the mail a couple of Friday evenings ago, I flipped through it and was immediately captivated by the Campanelle with Corn, Scallions and Arugula recipe featured in the issue’s “Simple Summer Pastas” article.

Because I’m never happy with the pasta dishes I make at home, I’m always on the prowl for a new and perfect pasta recipe to try. Rarely do I actually find one. Yet this Martha Stewart pasta recipe grabbed me, shook me and made me promise to make it the very next night.

A homemade pasta dish I actually liked.

Because it was described in the magazine as “part corn chowder and part pasta salad,” I had a feeling this could be a pasta recipe I’d be happy with in the end. The recipe called for large quantities of fresh corn, something I can’t seem to get enough of this summer. It also called for bacon, something I can’t get enough of ever.

The original recipe included arugula. While the arugula probably would have been good when the dish was fresh, I didn’t like the idea of slimy arugula in my leftovers. So I left it out and didn’t miss it a bit. The recipe also called for campanelle pasta but I couldn’t find that at my local grocery store, so I used orecchiette instead as it was a recommended substitution for the campanelle.

The entire dish came together pretty quickly (45 minutes or so including prep time) as long as you’re adept at slicing fresh corn off the cob. Leftovers of this were awesome and I can proudly say that this is one pasta recipe I will be making over and over again. It’s been added to the roster of just a couple of pasta dishes that I think I prepare well.

A homemade pasta dish I actually liked.

Orecchiette with Corn, Scallions and Bacon

Recipe ever so slightly adapted from the August 2011 Martha Stewart Living magazine

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh corn (from 5-6 ears)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices smoked bacon, chopped (I probably used 6 slices as I really like bacon.)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta (other shell-shaped pasta could be used), cooked until al dente with 1 cup of cooking water reserved
  • 3 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced (I used 5 scallions as I really like them too!)
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved or finely grated

Directions

  1. Purée 1 cup corn and the chicken stock in a blender or food processor.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (yes, a large one!) over medium heat. Cook bacon in skillet until crisp.
  3. Add the corn purée, remaining 3 cups of corn kernels, 2 tablespoons butter and the jalapeno pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until corn is soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Toss in the cooked paste, reserved cooking water and remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
  5. Cook until sauce is creamy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Toss in scallions.
  7. Garnish with cheese.

4 Comments

  1. This looks great! One question – is the corn initially raw when you slice it off the cob? It sounds like it, but I’m not sure. Thanks!

    • Yes, the corn is raw when sliced off the cob. Once fresh corn isn’t available anymore, frozen corn would probably work for this recipe.

  2. Thanks for the recipe! I’ve made it a couple of times now, tweaking it as I go. It seemed like a lot of corn and a lot of fat in the original recipe, so the second time I used just one cob of corn, more bacon and no extra fat (in fact I still drained off some bacon grease). We enjoyed it both times and it’s one I’ll make again too.

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