Sweet Corn Crema Pasta
While reading Marc Vetri’s Mastering Pasta, I came across his recipe for “Fettuccine with corn crema and charred green onions”. It had never occurred to me to make a pasta sauce from corn, So I was intrigued. Plus he asserted that the mix of flavors of fresh sweet corn and charred green onions ought to be as ubiquitous a flavor for summer as tomato and basil are. I admit I was a wee bit dubious.
But I made this for a dear old friend and her dad and I got the Houston stamp of approval. They loved it. Both are honest to a fault and as I liked it, too, it’s being added to our archive of recipes.
This is a mild dish that you could amp up with the addition of hot peppers or garlic, but there is something really delicious and subtle about the sweet creaminess of this pasta dish. Please try it as is at least once and pair it with something salty—a great side with BLTs or a sausage sandwich or our Sausage and Summer Squash Sauté.
1 lb fettuccine
4 green onions
4 ears of fresh sweet corn (we used Weber’s corn)
1 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
good quality Ricotta (something with no additives or stabilizers)
optional: 1 cup sweet corn stock
Start water boiling for pasta (salt the water liberally).
Heat olive oil in large fry pan. Chop up the white portions of the green onions and saute in the oil until just softened, but not browned.
Cut all kernels off of ears of corn. Reserve a 1/4 cup of kernels and dump the rest into the fry pan. Stir constantly to soften a bit. Add a cup of water or sweet corn stock and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Turn heat off and run corn, onions , and liquid through a food processor or blender to blend until smooth.
Lay the green parts of the onion in a dry fry pan and turn the heat up to medium high. Flip the onions frequently. You want them well-browned in spots, but not blackened. Once cooked, chop them up and set them aside.
Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve a cup of the pasta water then drain the pasta. Put pasta in fry pan, pour over the corn puree and add the reserved corn kernels. Turn heat to medium and move those noodles around. You want to keep the noodles moving and stirring in the corn puree well. Add a bit of the pasta water and keep the noodles moving. You want the noodles and sauce to eventually adhere to one another so that it hardly looks like there’s a separate sauce any more. The pasta water will help with that.
At the very end of cooking, add the green onions and give it one final stir.
Serve immediately with a dollop of fine ricotta cheese.