Fresh corn is simmered and blended until smooth to give this pasta a fresh, creamy sauce (without any cream). Topped with garlicky breadcrumbs and fresh basil, this pasta dish is begging to be your next late summer meal.
I have to admit that this pasta dish was a purely selfish creation. It uses all of my favorite flavors and textures. But I feel certain you’ll love it every bit as much as I do. It has a creamy sauce made from blended sweet corn – one of the best flavors of late summer. On top is my favorite pasta topping – garlicky toasted breadcrumbs – an idea that comes from the Cook Smarts version of Spaghetti Salerno.
The result is a dish that’s not all that complicated (it uses just a few ingredients), though it does require you to get out the blender. The reward? The best creamy pasta sauce made without cream – just sweet, savory summer corn.
This recipe is:
- Pasta – Use a fun shape that will soak up sauce. I used Gigli (bought from Trader Joe’s) which, through testing, feels like the perfect shape for this dish.
- Kosher Salt – Important! Make sure you season the pasta water generously with salt. That salted water is what will season and flavor the sauce.
- Panko Breadcrumbs – These Japanese-style breadcrumbs are super crunchy and they add great texture on top of the pasta. Regular breadcrumbs won’t give you nearly as much crunch.
- Garlic – Saute these with the breadcrumbs for flavor. Keep an eye on them to be sure they don’t burn.
- Corn Kernels – These are the heart and soul of this dish. Slice them off fresh cobs for the best flavor, but frozen will work in a pinch.
- Parmesan Cheese – This is the only other ingredient in the sauce. Parmesan + sweet corn + pasta water = the best creamy summer sauce.
- Fresh Basil – Don’t skip this. The fresh color and flavor of basil brightens the dish.
- Make it Gluten-Free – Just use your favorite gluten-free pasta and gluten-free panko (Kikkoman makes a good one).
- Make it Dairy-Free – Use your favorite vegan / dairy-free substitutes for the parmesan and butter.
Other Favorite Pasta Recipes
- Elote Pasta Carbonara
- Spinach and Artichoke Baked Pasta
- Chicken Enchilada Pasta
- Creamy Cauliflower Baked Ziti
- Lasagna Bolognese
Pasta with Creamy Corn Sauce, Basil, and Breadcrumbs
- 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
- 5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, divided
- ½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 12 oz Pasta, any fun shape (I used Gigli pasta)
- 2 cups Corn Kernels, preferably fresh
- ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese, plus more for serving
- Chopped Fresh Basil, for topping (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water (for the pasta) to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp kosher salt.
- While the pasta water is coming to a boil, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add 3 Tbsp butter. When butter melts, add breadcrumbs and garlic and saute until golden brown and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. (Note: If using unsalted butter, season the breadcrumbs with some salt.) Set aside. Return pan to medium heat.
- At this point, the water for the pasta should be boiling. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
- When pasta has been boiling for a few minutes, scoop out ¾ cup of pasta water and reserve it for the sauce.
- To the heated skillet you used for the breadcrumbs, add remaining 2 Tbsp butter. Add corn and saute until corn is bright yellow and tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Combine corn and reserved pasta water in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Drain pasta. Pour corn over pasta. Gently fold in parmesan cheese. Taste pasta and season with some salt, if needed.
- Divide pasta between serving bowls.
- Top pasta with fried breadcrumbs, chopped basil, and some extra parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
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