Plate of Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil

We’re experiencing a spell of cool weather after weeks and weeks of hot hot heat and humidity. You know I love my muggy running conditions but our AC was more than ready for a break after working overtime! I also made a couple batches of Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Covered Pretzels for a fall food-themed news segment I shot earlier this week (forgot how amazing those are!) and the goodies coupled with the weather gave me a literal taste of fall. In some ways I’m ready for it…

Wait, nope! No I’m not. Not even a little bit. With so much uncertainty and anxiety surrounding school starting, starting school, and did I mention school starting, I could live in my semi-oblivious summer state of mind for, well, EVER. Especially when there’s truck loads of fresh sweet corn still arriving at the grocery store from local farms. I celebrated by slicing some sweet and crispy kernels off the cob to dot this plate of deliciousness – Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil!

Overhead photo of a plate of sweet corn pasta

Join me in refusing to acknowledge time’s inevitable passing with this incredible taste of summer. Cooked pasta is tossed with the holy trinity of summer cooking – sweet corn, basil, and butter – plus lots of garlic, pan-roasted cauliflower, and a wee squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The ingredients are then enveloped in an easy, creamy pan sauce made from parmesan cheese and pasta cooking water. It is so, SO good!

Pasta cooking water is a great way to create a creamy sauce without having to add cream to a recipe. Since it contains all the starch from the pasta, it thickens things up nicely without diluting the flavor of the dish. All you do is scoop water from the pasta cooking pot into a skillet then stir until the dish is saucy. Couldn’t be easier!

Served as a splashy side dish with dinner or piled into two bowl as a meatless main for you and your mate, you will love, love, love this flavor-packed summer pasta dish. I’ve made it four times in two weeks. Can’t stop won’t stop because – say it with me – VIVA SUMMER!

A fork twirling a bite of Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil

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How to Make this Recipe:

Start by melting butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped cauliflower and shallot, season with salt and pepper, then saute until the cauliflower starts to turn golden brown around the edges, about 5 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium then add fresh sweet corn kernels that have been sliced from the cob, minced fresh garlic, plus more salt and pepper, then saute until the sweet corn is slightly tender, another five minutes or so. About this point you might feel faint from the delicious scent wafting around your kitchen!!

Meanwhile, cook gluten free spaghetti (or whatever pasta shape you have on hand) in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Now, this is important: DO NOT DRAIN THE PASTA when it’s done! Rather, carefully use a glass measuring dish or cup to scoop out ~2 cups pasta cooking water then set aside. This starch-rich water is what will thicken our sauce.

Next, use tongs to transfer the pasta directly from the cooking pot into the skillet then add chopped fresh basil and a wee squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This pasta dish isn’t supposed to taste lemony, but a small drizzle sure wakes everything up.

Last step is to add freshly grated parmesan cheese (use the amount I’ll provide in the recipe card as a suggestion – when it comes to cheese you should always follow your heart!) plus some of the reserved pasta cooking water. Stir and toss the pasta with the heat still on medium until a light and silky sauce has formed. Add more pasta cooking water (or parm!) if needed.

Taste and add more salt and/or lemon juice if desired, then swirl onto plates and dig in. I hope you love this yummy, saucy, summery pasta dish – enjoy!

Close up photo of summer sweet corn pasta

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Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil

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5/5 (4 REVIEWS)

Description

Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil is the ultimate summer pasta dish. Creamy and decadent yet full of vegetables and no actual cream required!

Ingredients

serves 4 as a side

  • 6oz gluten free spaghetti (or your favorite pasta shape)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 10oz cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into small florets
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 ears sweet corn, kernels sliced from cob
  • 2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with a big pinch of salt then add pasta and cook until al dente. DO NOT DRAIN. Carefully use a glass measuring dish or measuring cup to scoop out ~2 cups pasta cooking water and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower and shallot, season with salt and pepper, then saute until the cauliflower begins to turn golden brown, 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium then add sweet corn and garlic, season with more salt and pepper, and then saute until sweet corn is slightly tender, 5 more minutes. Add basil and a small squeeze of lemon juice (you can always add more later) then stir to combine. If pasta is not done cooking at this point, turn heat down to low.
  3. Once pasta is al dente, and you've scooped out the pasta cooking water, use tongs to transfer pasta into skillet then toss to combine. Add parmesan cheese and 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water then simmer while stirring until a light and creamy sauce has been formed. Add more pasta cooking water if needed to achieve a light sauce - sauce will thicken as it cools. Taste then add more salt and/or fresh lemon juice, and then serve.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Photo collage of Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil photos

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