Summer is behind us, but that won’t stop me from making dishes that remind me of the beautiful weather we had this year in the great Pacific Northwest. While it was another weird summer with uncertainty, and plenty of ups and downs, there was always one thing that I could find comfort in: making delicious recipes, and eating delicious food. 

Testing this recipe was a lot of fun. I knew I wanted to do some sort of corn pasta, and although we are transitioning into fall, I wanted it to have the brightness and lightness of summer. The flavor combinations are perfect. We pair a beautiful pappardelle noodle with sweet corn, blistered tomatoes and salty bacon bits to make your dreams come true. 

Is there anything better than corn season? I swear when the corn shows up at the grocery store, my mind starts racing with recipe ideas. I want to bake with it, cook with it and make soups out of it. Corn is such a versatile ingredient. There is no limit. The corn is the star of the show here. It is puréed to create the pasta sauce. Using corn helps to create a creamy, delicious and rich sauce — but one that leaves out the heaviness from creams, butters and cheeses.

I have also fallen in love with blistered tomatoes. My goodness, what have I been missing out on my whole life? I love taking cherry tomatoes, cutting them in half, drizzling them with oil and spices and roasting them until they are soft and sweet. It is like eating candy, and it adds such a brightness to any dish it accompanies. While we aren’t blistering these tomatoes in the oven, we are cooking them in with the corn and I promise it gives the same effect.

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Corn and blistered-tomato pasta

Total time: 1 hour

Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 ounces pappardelle pasta
  • 2-3 slices of bacon, or about ¼ cup, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil, separated
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups corn
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

STEPS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place bacon on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy. (Note: Everyone’s oven is different; mine takes about 20 minutes to make perfectly crispy bacon. Keep an eye on your bacon and cook it for the length necessary to reach a fully cooked crunchy texture.)
  3. Once the bacon is done, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
  4. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, with 1 teaspoon oil and 1 tablespoon salt, in a large pasta pot.
  5. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add ½ teaspoon oil and corn. Cook until slightly charred, about four minutes.
  6. Transfer corn to a bowl and set aside.
  7. Add onion to skillet with remaining ½ teaspoon oil, red pepper flakes and thyme. Sauté until translucent about three to four minutes.
  8. Transfer corn back into skillet and toss with onion.
  9. Remove half of the corn and onion mixture and set aside.
  10. Add tomatoes to the skillet with the remaining corn and onion mixture and cook on low for about 10 minutes.
  11. While the tomatoes are cooking, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
  12. Strain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  13. Add the reserved corn and onion mixture, and 1 cup of pasta water to a blender and purée until smooth. (Note: If you are looking for a thicker sauce, add less water to the blender with the corn and onion mixture. Gradually add additional pasta water until you get your desired consistency.)
  14. Add pasta and corn purée to the skillet with the remaining corn and tomatoes. Toss until pasta is coated completely.
  15. On a cutting board, chop bacon into small pieces.
  16. Add bacon and pepper, then toss everything together one more time before putting into a serving bowl.
  17. Finish with shredded Parmesan cheese if your heart so desires.