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
source: Lottie and Doof
- 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
- Set a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve with remaining 1/4 cup basil leaves, and additional grated Parmesan cheese.