I cannot decide what to make for dinner tonight, can you? Total brain cramp. So let's make a deal: I'll give you a simple dinner idea if you share some ideas of your own. What do you think?
I love serving this corn pasta with bacon, basil and goat cheese during the summer, especially when the corn's super sweet, but we just had pasta last night (sigh). I may make it anyway. Essentially, it's a light carbonara with a few simple accoutrements that add texture and flavor. I like to make a little extra corn mixture to toss with salad for lunch the next day. Can you picture yourself twirling up bites of this during the week?
CORN PASTA WITH BACON, BASIL AND GOAT CHEESE
5 ounces bacon, chopped
1 onion, diced
4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed (save the liquid that collects if you can!)
12 ounces spaghetti
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Freshly ground pepper
4 to 5 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Fresh basil leaves, torn
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes; drain on paper towels, leave the drippings in the pan. Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until almost soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the corn (and corn liquid, if you have some) and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.
2. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, add the cream to the corn mixture and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the cream cooks down and thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, then drain the pasta and add to the skillet along with the butter. Toss with tongs until combined over medium-low. Add some reserved cooking water, if needed. Divide among bowls. Top with goat cheese, basil, bacon and add a few grinds of black pepper.
(You know, you could take this puppy for a spin year round if you use frozen corn, just saying!)