Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pasta with fresh corn pesto and spaghetti squash

This was an awesome way to use up a few ears of corn, a package of basil, and a spaghetti squash. I also threw in some fennel pollen, though that's strictly optional. Really delicious and fresh-tasting!

From epicurious:

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
1 spaghetti squash, roasted, and peeled out of the skin

To roast spaghetti squash, cut it in half lengthwise, and place cut side down on an oiled casserole dish. Roast at 400 degrees until a fork can pierce the back of the squash. Take out and let cool. Scoop out the seeds, then run a fork down the cooked insides. The squash will peel out in strands that look just like spaghetti (hence the name). Set that aside.

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, spaghetti squash, 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.

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