December 28, 2018

Fresh Corn Cream Sauce with Pasta

This is one of our things we like to make with corn in late summer. (Back in the days when we rented a place in Lyme, I used to drive the half mile up the road nearly every day in August to get corn from the farmstand we felt convinced had the best corn. In recent years, not living really close to a farmstand (or anything else) and no longer wanting to have to go to fetch it on the exact day we want it, I have adjusted my standards so that I regularly buy corn several days ahead of using it and just stick it in the fridge. And it is definitely not the same, but it still works.) 

Anyway my mom and I first put together this recipe one of those days right after having bought some fresh corn from the nearby farmstand (our little notes here say 2008!) and after we had recently eaten dinner at a restaurant where my mom had had a pasta with a lobster and corn cream sauce. Whenever she eats something at a restaurant she really likes, she has to come home and try to replicate it, and she often does a pretty good job of it. Anyway, we left out the lobster (one of my two foods that I really dislike) and made this simple pasta focused on the corn, which I love. You'll noticed the recipe notes from ten years ago say we used a stick of butter and 16 ounces of heavy cream. Not sure if I batted an eyelash at those things back then or not. I can't see using that amount of butter now or the cream being necessary, so I cut the butter in half over the summer when we dusted off this old favorite, and I used entirely skim milk instead of cream. It felt plenty rich and was still delicious. But I thought it was fun to have our original notes here just the same. 

A couple of other notes: I bet you could use parsley or basil for the fresh herb and would have a slightly different but equally delicious final product. One thing I love about cooking in the summer is that if I want a little of some fresh herbs I have them growing fresh right out in our garden rather than having to buy an entire bunch from the store. Yet I often forget to pick what I need before I am in the kitchen cooking. This has become one of the ways I enlist Willem's help in the cooking lately [summer 2017], handing him the kitchen scissors and asking him to go fetch a certain amount of something. It's made me realize he's a little fuzzy on which herb is which so it's been a learning experience. He knows what the basil is (we've got a ton of that and it's a precious ingredient in pesto which he loves). And he's fairly involved in the gardening in general, but the herbs overall I guess are just not high on his priority list. The other day I sent him for cilantro, describing where it was in the garden and how many stems to get, and he came back with parsley. The night I made this I sent him out for parsley and after a couple minutes went to peek out the window and saw him contemplating the oregano and lavender so I called out to him and pointed him in the right direction in time. After he came in I stuck it in his face in hopes that his good sense of smell would help him remember next time.

Fresh Corn Cream Sauce with Pasta 

6 - 8 ears fresh corn, or 2 or 3 C frozen corn
1 lb. pasta (penne, rotini, bow ties)
~4 T butter
2 C milk +
salt and pepper
1 - 2 green onions, sliced, or 1/4 of an onion, diced
2 - 3 T fresh parsley, minced
~1/4 C flour 
1/3 C Parmesan, grated 

Cut corn off cobs. (In our notes we wrote to boil the corn, then cut it off. I don't think this is necessary as you end up sauteing it a few minutes anyway, although the one plus to dunking it in the boiling water for a minute first is that it is much easier to slice off the cob if it's been cooked without the kernels flying everywhere.) Cook pasta in the same water after corn if you've cooked the corn. 

In large pan, melt butter. Add onions, and soften a bit over low heat (I covered the pan). Add corn and saute briefly. Add flour, stirring in a little at a time. Slowly add milk, stirring. It will thicken up a bit. 

Add parsley, Parmesan, salt, and pepper at the end. Serve over, or stirred into, pasta.

1 comment: