Sweet, delicious corn on the cob is in season right now and this past week Austin was eager to help his aunt Karen shuck dozens of cobs and then freeze bags and bags of the sweet kernels to put aside for the coming winter months. Why so motivated to help out? Because he vividly remembers how amazing last summer's corn tasted when she brought it to Christmas dinner. He's a smart boy and knew a wise investment of a few hours of his time in July would eventually reap delicious benefits five months from now (if it lasts that long, that is... he has hungry cousins).
So, continuing on our corn theme, as usual on many Saturday nights, I found myself looking for a pasta recipe (since Q was carb-loading for a triathlon the next day) and came across this simple recipe that included fresh corn kernels and basil, two of our favourite tastes of summer, combined with some bacon and a creamy sauce. We ended up substituting pancetta instead and I lightened up the sauce so he wouldn't go into cardiac arrest mid-race. The original recipe called for combining the cream with the corn in a food processor but I wasn't sure that we really wanted a creamed-corn pasta sauce so I just sauteed the kernels and then made the sauce separately.
1 lb spaghetti
4 ounces diced pancetta
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghetti until almost al dente.
Meanwhile, cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it's crispy and cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside. Add the corn kernels to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are just tender. Add the cream, cheese and salt and cook until sauce thickens.
Transfer the pasta from the pot to the skillet, add the pancetta and pepper and toss the spaghetti with the corn until evenly coated.
Sprinkle with the basil leaves and serve.
Rest of the week
July 22 Dinner at sister's house
July 23 Corn, basil and pancetta pasta with side salad, pecan tarts to take to jazz festival party later that night