Simple Supper: Corn Pasta with Bacon, Basil and Goat Cheese

/ Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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?


Kosher salt 
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!)

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