Summer Corn Fettuccine
- 1 pound fettuccine
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 6 slices smoky bacon, chopped
- 6 ears corn on the cob, shucked
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup half-and-half or cream - whatever you put in your morning coffee
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- A few dashes hot sauce or 1 or 2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
- 1/2 cup torn sweet basil leaves or 1/4 cup chopped tarragon leaves
This pasta tastes like corn chowder, a summer favorite of mine. Bring home a bushel of corn at summers end and cook, scrape and freeze summer fresh flavor by making your own frozen corn kernels.
Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium heat. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook to al dente.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook a few minutes until rendered and crisp. Put a small bowl inverted into a large bowl, steady the corn cobs on the smaller bowl and scrape the ears. Add 3/4 of the scraped corn and any corn liquid to the pan with the bacon. Add the shallots and red pepper and liberally season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the remaining corn and half-and-half to a food processor and puree until smooth.
Pour the stock or wine into the corn and vegetables, and simmer over low heat for a minute to reduce. Stir in the thyme and corn-cream mixture and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken. Add the hot sauce or cayenne and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Drain the pasta and add it to a large serving bowl. Pour in the sauce, add a couple of handfuls of cheese, about 1/2 cup and toss. Top with torn basil or chopped tarragon and pass the remaining cheese at the table.
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