Summer Meatless Mondays: Corn Pesto
Here is another great summertime meatless Monday recipe using everyone’s favorite summer veggie — corn! If you are looking for a way to enjoy corn other than corn on the cob, this is a delicious and unique pasta sauce.
The corn pesto and bacon combination reminded me of a corn chowder. Make sure to save some of the pasta water to thin out the sauce — the pesto is pretty thick.
There is still nothing as delicious as a grilled ear of corn but this was definitely a tasty and different way to use corn.
Tagliatelle with Fresh Corn Pesto
- 4 bacon slices, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine
- 3/4 cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves, divided
Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown, stirring often. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet. Add corn, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until corn is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups corn kernels to small bowl and reserve. Scrape remaining corn mixture into processor. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan and pine nuts. With machine running, add olive oil through feed tube and blend until pesto is almost smooth. Set pesto aside.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add corn pesto, reserved corn kernels, and 1/2 cup basil leaves. Toss pasta mixture over medium heat until warmed through, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil leaves and reserved bacon. Serve pasta, passing additional grated Parmesan alongside.