September 16, 2011

Fettuccine with Fresh Corn Pesto

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It was about 1 pm yesterday when it decided to turn into fall in New York, which means that we're having bolognese this weekend at long last! But for those of you who still have summer left where you live, this last recipe of our pesto week is a must try before it's too late.

YiRan said this dish was all of her favorite ingredients in one awesome meal. When you're talking about fresh summer corn, at the peak of sweetness, combined with bacon, basil, and cheese, it's hard to go wrong. And like the tomato pesto or kale pesto, this comes together so quickly and easily that there's really no reason not to try this!

Making the Dish
Summer on the cob

Get started by finding yourself some delicious ears of fresh summer corn. Make sure the kernels are nice and plump. Use a knife to remove the kernels from the cob.
Removing the corn kernels

Then, in a non-stick pan, fry up some bacon. Get it nice and crispy and let the fat render out. Once done, let the bacon drain on a paper towel, but don't throw away the bacon fat!
Crisping up the bacon

Once you've got the kernels removed, throw them into a the same pan and cook for a few minutes until charred. That's right - you're going to cook the kernels in the bacon fat. We promised this would be a good one! Once charred, drop all but about a half cup of them into the food processor.
Tossing and charring the corn in the bacon fat

Add into the food processor a quarter cup of freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, as well as a handful of walnuts, and if you like, a clove of garlic. Then, start to pulse and as you're pulsing, drizzle in a few tablespoons of olive oil until the corn pesto comes to the consistency you like.
Walnut, corn, cheese, and garlic added to the food processor

Taste it and season with salt and pepper if necessary, and if you can, refrain from devouring it all at this point.
I smell bacon!

Cook up your pasta until 1 minute shy of the package directions and then drain, reserving some of the pasta water for later. While it's cooking, chop up your bacon into bits and thinly slice some fresh basil.
Chopped bacon and basil

Once the pasta is done, combine it with the pesto, the reserved corn, the bacon, and the basil, and toss together until coated over low heat. You may need to add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up.
Adding the bacon, corn, and basil to the pasta and pesto

Garnish with freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, and enjoy!

The Wine
Since it's Friday, it's a good time to have some good wine, and this is definitely a good wine. The Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano was described by the wine guy as one of the best montepulciano's he had in the store, and it was really good. But honestly, the fact that it has a stick on the bottle was the deciding factor for us. Sometime's it's the little things....

For just under $12 though, this is a fantastic find, and if you see this distinctive bottle somewhere, pick it up for a guaranteed enjoyable wine.

The Result
This fresh corn pesto is sweet, smooth, luxurious, and delicious. Oh, and there's bacon. And basil. It basically screams summer, and when you eat it, it tastes like summer too.

Give it a go. And let us know - what are some other great ways to use summer corn?
What's the first dish you cook for the fall? Let us know in the comments. And don't forget to follow our blogsubscribe, or add us on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest posts!

Click through for the full ingredient list

Fettuccine with Fresh Summer Corn Pesto

Adapted from:

This dish basically screams summer, featuring fresh summer corn, and fresh basil.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

(Serves: 2)

1/2 lb fettuccine
2 - 3 ears fresh summer corn
1 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh pecorino romano cheese
1/4 cup walnuts
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
4 strips bacon
salt and pepper to taste


  1. This recipe is happening for sure at my house this weekend! I can't wait to impress my husband with it (he's a pasta-vore). Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Glad to hear! Hope it turns out well :)

  3. LOVE your blog, it gives me the feeling i'm in New York, a city that i admire a lot ;)))

  4. I wanted to thank you for this recipe! I had so much fun making and eating it...corn pesto is incredible! I posted about it on my blog, it was SO good!


  5. Ajax - that's awesome! Glad you liked it :)

  6. Okay, it is winter and I used canned corn, but nevertheless, it was great! I blogged about it as well (but in Dutch): Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Chef Mamas- thanks for sharing! Looks like you did an excellent job with the recipe :)

  7. Oh man, made this tonight, was great!

    1. Very good to hear! Thanks for letting us know!


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