linguine with fresh corn pesto

I always look forward to when the corn on the cob comes back into season, and the large display is set up in the middle of Wegmans. I try to buy some ears each week during the season to either serve as a side dish, or to freeze for the out-of-season months. I have found that corn that I freeze myself is so much better than the bagged, frozen corn that you can buy at the store. I just cut it off of the cob, and store it in a freezer bag. If you lay the bag flat in your freezer, and then break it up gently after it freezes, you can avoid having one large clump of corn.  I also find that cutting the corn off the cob is very easy if you put an egg cup in the center of a large, shallow bowl. I use this egg cup from Ikea.

I came across this recipe on Pinterest, and knew that I would have to try it when corn was back in season. Luckily I didn’t have to wait that long because the corn display was up a couple of weeks later. I found that the recipe made way too much pesto for 8 oz of pasta, so I ended up cooking the rest of the box, and we were able to enjoy it for a couple of more days. I omitted the cheese, and I couldn’t believe that there wasn’t any cheese or milk in it. The corn pesto had sweet creaminess to it.

Linguine with Fresh Corn Pesto 

Serves 6

source: Lottie and Doof

Ingredients:

  • 4 bacon slices, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 ears)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper // The original recipe called for 3/4 tsp, but I found that it needed a bit more
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese //I completely omitted this, and didn’t find that the dish was lacking in any way
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb linguine
  • 3/4 cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves, divided

Directions:

  1. Set a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
  3. Add corn, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Saute over medium-high heat until corn is just tender, but not brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer  1 1/2 cups corn to a small bowl to reserve.
  4. Scrape the remaining corn mixture into a food processor. Add pine nuts and cheese, if using. Pulse a couple of times, and then turn the machine on. With the machine running, add olive oil through feed tube and blend until pesto is almost smooth. Set pesto aside.
  5. Cook the pasta in the now boiling water until just tender, but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
  6. 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. Add reserved pasta cooking liquid a 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add in the bacon, and season the dish with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve with remaining 1/4 cup basil leaves, and additional grated Parmesan cheese.

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