cancel all plans and make this for dinner/lunch/supper! it is sweet corn season! after eating cob after cob, this pesto is something different but familiar and can only be made in the summer with fresh sweet corn cut off the cob. this pasta dish takes advantage of all of the things i look forward to in the summer, namely corn, tomatoes, and basil. it is quite similar to traditional pesto but with the addition of corn. the starch from the corn makes the sauce naturally very creamy and sauces the pasta quite easily. i added halved cherry tomatoes to the mix for some brightness and acidity, but you can leave them out or add other ingredients like a bit of chopped olive, roasted peppers or summer squash, or if you eat it, bacon.
pasta with fresh corn pesto
adapted from bon appetit
corn cut from 4 ears of corn
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
handful of walnuts or pinenuts
very large handful of fresh basil, chopped
your choice of pasta (use a long type of noodle like linguine, tagliatelle, or, in a pinch, spaghetti will do)
3/4 of a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
heat a skillet over medium heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sautee the shallot and garlic until translucent. add the corn and turn up the heat a bit and cook until the corn is tender. transfer most of the corn (reserving maybe a cup or so) to a food processor or blender. add the nuts, generous shaving of Parmesan cheese, handful of basil, salt, pepper, and a nice glug of olive oil. blender or process until mostly smooth.
meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente and drain, reserving a cup or two of the pasta liquid. toss the pasta with the pesto and tomatoes, adding as much cooking liquid needed to thin everything out to the proper consistency. sprinkle the remaining basil and serve with more Parmesan if needed.
*note: this is also very tasty cold the next night sitting at the park during sunset.