Last update: September 20, 2022, 3:59 PM HST
Even when tasty, creamy pasta sauces can be unappealingly heavy. A few bites and you’re done.
Fortunately, a lighter solution is found in high season for sweet corn, whose high starch content allows you to create a creamy sauce without resorting to cream. Just take out the blender.
We developed this vegetarian pasta for our “COOKish” book, which limits recipes to just six ingredients without sacrificing flavor, with frozen corn for year-round appeal. But it will be even better with fresh ears.
For this recipe, which is loosely based on “Mastering Pasta” by Marc Vetri and David Joachim, cut 3 cups of kernels from the cob (about 3 large or 4 medium ears). Blend two of the cups in the blender with chopped green onion whites, a little water, salt and pepper for an easy no-cook sauce. Simply heat the cooked pasta – we love tubular bucatini – with the mixture, butter, remaining pits and a little pasta cooking water to help the sauce cling.
The result is a rich, slightly sweet pasta dish that won’t weigh you down.
Sweet corn and green onion bucatini
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
- 1 pound corn kernels, cut from the cobs or frozen but thawed, drained and patted dry (about 3 cups)
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and green reserved separately
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 pound bucatini OR spaghetti pasta
- 4 tablespoons salted butter cut into 4 pieces
- 2 ounces pecorino romano cheese, finely grated (1 cup)
- 1 or 2 Fresno OR jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
- In a blender, puree 2 cups corn, green onion whites, ½ cup water, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain.
- In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter.
- Add mashed corn and remaining kernels, then cook, stirring, until lightly charred.
- Off the heat, add the pasta, cheese and peppers, then mix, adding the cooking water to dilute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve sprinkled with green onion leaves.
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