Friday, June 1, 2012

Corn Pasta

While living in Mammoth, I was forced to shop at the only grocery store in town. This was hard for a girl like me - a bargain shopper. Before Mammoth, I used to look at all the grocery store ads and only get what I needed, and that was on sale, from a select number of stores. Yes, it meant driving a little more but if I could save a few bucks I would. Now, all of a sudden I lived in a small community with only one store and no grocery ads. (I take that back. There we no ads mailed out, but if you went to the store - which everyone had to do, if you wanted to eat - you would find a copy of an ad. It was one sided, on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of white computer paper.) I still tried to make the bulk of my shopping be things that we one sale (since everything was say over priced - it is a tourist town after all).
  One day, while grocery shopping, I saw that corn was one sale. Yay! My heart sang! I was so happy to find an item of fresh produce that I love, on sale for as low as I could get it back in my home town. Needless to say, I stocked up. Then I had the dilemma of what to do with all this corn on the cob (hubby's not much of a fan). So, I started making this Corn Pasta.
  I got the idea from watching Rachael Ray. She has a corn pasta as well. I'm sure our recipes are very similar, but I haven't looked it up to compare.
  It's a pasta dish that feels creamy and luxurious, but has no cream in it. It tastes like buttered corn (who doesn't love that?) but is filling so it's good for supper.
  During the summer, when there is such an abundance of amazingly sweet and fresh corn I try to take advantage of it. I can't even count how many times I made it while we lived in Mammoth, and it has been a summer staple ever since. You could make this with frozen or canned corn, but I'm not sure what the exact measurements would be, since I always use corn on the cob.

Here's what you'll need:
6 ears of corn, chicken broth, 1 lb pasta (we like fettuccine), salt, pepper, 1 can of creamed corn, basil, parsley, thyme, onion, garlic, and butter
 Start by putting some butter in a pan over low heat. Also, fill a large pot most of the way with water and bring to a boil for your pasta.

While the butter melts, mince up 2 cloves of garlic and dice one medium onion.

Put them in the pan with the butter.

Let them get happy in their butter bath. :)

Now shuck the corn. I find it's easiest to cut the top off and then I can pull all the leaves and the silk off in just a couple tries. Lots faster than trying to take off a couple leaves at a time. (Either white, yellow or a combination of corn would work. I used both.)

When the corn is all removed from the husks, take each ear and cut the kernels off. Take a large bowl (mine should really be a little bigger, but this was the only clean one I could find) and place a smaller bowl inside, upside down. Stand the ear of corn on the small bowl.

Slice down the ear/cob of corn, getting all the kernels. They will fall into the bowl and not on the floor. Yay!

When all the kernels are cut of the cob, it looks like this. Repeat with the other 5 ears/cobs.

Add the corn kernels to the pan with the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat.

The pasta water is boiling now, so salt it generously,

and add your pasta. Don't forget to stir so that they don't stick together.

While the pasta cooks, get back to the corn. It should be lightly brown now. Turn the heat to low and remove 1/2 of the corn mixture.

Dump the 1/2 of the corn mixture into a blender.

Add some basil, (unfortunately, all I have are dry herbs)

a little more parsley,

and even a little more thyme.

Add 1 can of creamed corn

and 1 cup of chicken broth or Homemade Chicken Stock. If you wanted to keep this vegetarian you could use veggie stock here.

Put the lid on the blender (unless you plan on redecorating your ceiling with corn pulp), and puree until smooth.

Add the blended corn mixture back to the pan with the other corn.

The pasta should be just shy of al-dente now. (Mostly done, but still a little hard.) Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water (I pour it into my blender to rinse out the corny goodness) and set it aside to add later.

The pasta gets drained and put into the pan with the sauce.

When the noodles are all coated, let the sauce cook over medium low heat until the pasta is cooked through. Add the reserved pasta water as it cooks. Salt and pepper the sauce to taste.

When the noodles are cooked and the sauce is thick, the dish is done. Just plate and eat. I sprinkled mine with some fresh chives - the only fresh herb I have in my garden right now. But some fresh basil or parsley or thyme would be nice also.

 Here's the recipe:

Corn Pasta

1 lb pasta (we like Fettuccine)
6 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
1/4 cup butter
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced (to taste)
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp dry basil
2 tsp dry parsley
1 Tbsp (3 tsp) dry thyme
1 15 oz can creamed corn
1 cup chicken broth or stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of the starchy pasta water

Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta. When it comes to a boil, salt it generously and add the pasta. Stir to prevent sticking and cook for 1 minute shy of al-dente (mostly cooked, but still a little hard).
Put the butter in a large saute pan or skillet and melt the butter over low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cut the corn off the cobs/ears. Add the corn to the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until the corn is cooked and slightly brown. Remove 1/2 of the corn mixture and put into a blender. To the blender, add the herbs, creamed corn and chicken broth. Blend until smooth. Add the blended corn to the other 1/2 of the corn mixture in the same large skillet.
The pasta should be done now. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet with the corn and cook until done, adding the reserved pasta water as needed to create a creamy sauce.  When the pasta is cooked through, it's done. Serve hot and garnished with fresh herbs.

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