Lugging my bounty home, I got to work. I was pretty excited about corn pesto, but little did I know how addictive it would be. The ingredients are in line with traditional basil pesto: pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil. If the price of pine nuts scares you (as it normally does me), almonds would be a good substitute.
The original recipe from Bon Appetit uses bacon fat and bacon. I love the smokiness that the bacon fat offers, but I found myself imagining the dish with seafood instead of bacon. In the second go-around, I still sauteed the corn with bacon fat, but I replaced the bacon with a mixture of scallops, shrimp, and squid. It was great. (By the way, next time you make bacon, save the fat in a jar and store it in the fridge. It's a stable fat and will last for months, and it can be used sparingly to add oodles of flavor to black beans, tortillas, and any other dish you want to taste a bit smoky).
Here's the recipe; let me know if you make it and love it as much as I do. I wouldn't dare dry this with frozen corn. It just wouldn't be worth it.
Fresh Corn Pesto Pasta
Adapted from Bon Appetit August 2010
4 bacon slices, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1-2 cups seafood (shrimp, scallops, etc.)
Cook bacon over medium heat in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and drain over paper towels; reserve fat in skillet. (If using seafood, steam and reserve).
4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Add to bacon fat and cook over medium high heat until corn is tender but not brown. Reserve 1 cup (if you want a textured pesto), and transfer the rest to food processor or blender.
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Add the Parmesan and pine nuts to the food processor, and while the machine is running, pour the olive oil through the feed tube.
8 ounces whole grain tagliatelle or fettuccine
Cook pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Toss pasta with pasta water, pesto, reserved corn, and seafood (if using). Garnish with reserved bacon (if using).
Other posts you may enjoy:
Remembering Last Summer: Pesto Pasta
Sandcastles on the Mediterranean We arrived in Spain last Thursday, September 26th. It was quite an ordeal to get here. Our scheduled f...
I've been getting winter apples from my winter co-op. I didn't even know apples could be available in the winter! They don't com...
This is a guest post by my dear friend Candice. We both share a love of cooking, baking, and all things food-related. We're also part of...