Sweet Summer Corn Fettuccine
One of the surest signs that summer is approaching is the bounty of fresh produce that makes its appearance in the local supermarkets. The beautiful hues of green, purples, reds, and every color of the rainbow are lovely to behold and remind me that it’s time…oh yes, it’s time for the fresh veggie dishes extravaganza!
The first in this summer’s lineup is this summer corn fettuccine that I had seen Rachel Ray make one day on her show and I found it to be oh so intriguing. Sautéed bacon mixed with a fresh corn and shallots in a cream based sauce and then tossed with fresh hot fettuccine and then topped with fresh herbs. If your mouth doesn’t water after reading that, I don’t know that I have anything else with which to give to you, young grasshopper…
After falling under its spell (I mean, it had bacon in it, how could I have said no?), I partook of the bounty at my local grocer and set about the task of recreating this little masterpiece at home. Pretty straightforward, the dish came together in a quick snap! True to her promise, in about 30 minutes, a tastylicious dinner was to be had.
I added a zucchini to the mix for some color and extra veggies, and maybe, just maaayyyybeeeee, I may have doubled the bacon that the original recipe called for. I also opted for the half and half in lieu of cream to make a flimsy attempt at keeping the calories down and used white wine because that’s just how I roll.
The end result is a very delightful dish bursting with flavor. The corn really shines through here and is a perfect pairing to the bacon. The fresh basil on top is the perfect finisher to the dish, further accenting the overall fresh produce tones of the dish and giving every bite a last little bit of zing!
Sweet Summer Corn Fettuccine
Adapted from Rachel Ray
1 pound fettuccine
6 slices smoky bacon, chopped
6 ears corn on the cob, shucked (or 3 cups of frozen sweet corn kernels)
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
A few dashes of liquid smoke
1-2 pinches of cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup sweet basil leaves, torn
Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium heat. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook to al dente.
Meanwhile, saute bacon over medium to medium high heat in a large skillet until rendered and crisp.
Put a small bowl inverted into a large bowl, steady the corn cobs on the smaller bowl and scrape the ears. Add three-quarters of the scraped corn and any corn liquid to the pan with the bacon. Add the shallots, red pepper, and zucchini and liberally season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 5-6 minutes.
Add the remaining corn and half-and-half to a food processor and puree until smooth.
Pour wine into the corn and vegetables and simmer over low heat for a minute to reduce. Stir in the thyme and corn-cream mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken. Add the liquid smoke, and cayenne pepper if using, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Drain the pasta and add it to a large serving bowl. Pour in the sauce, add cheese, and toss. Top with torn basil or chopped tarragon. Serve!