Lemon-Pepper Corn Pasta

Lutein is the yellow pigment found in corn and is part of the carotenoid family, which is abundantly available in yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables. Yet lutein isn't found in many places: Besides corn, egg yolks and kale are good sources (the yellowness is masked by the green chlorophyll found in kale). Remember that lutein is best absorbed with a little fat present (which the butter, milk and cheese in this healthy pasta provides). Curcumin is found primarily in turmeric, the vibrant yellow pigment found in many curry spice blends. Besides adding a distinct yellow-ish hue to cooked stews and curries, it also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings (about 6 cups)
  • Nutrition Info
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8 ounces pappardelle pasta

Olive oil, for coating

2 ears corn, shucked

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 yellow pepper, diced

Large pinch ground turmeric

1 1/2 cups 2-percent milk

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon), plus lemon wedges for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the pasta into the water and cook according to package directions, drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with a splash of oil and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the kernels from the corn with a sharp knife. Hold the shaved cobs over a bowl and scrape with the back of the knife to extract the milk, set aside. Discard the cobs.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the corn kernels, garlic, peppers and turmeric. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the corn milk, 2-percent milk, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer, cook until slightly thickened (like the consistency of heavy cream), about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked pasta, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently toss the pasta in the sauce (thin out with reserved pasta water if desired). Divide among four bowls. Sprinkle each with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan and some black pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.