This is Day 6 of my Sweet on Corn series. That means it is the sixth of seven posts dedicated to sweet summer corn. I always forget how hard these series can be, too. But when I say seven posts in a row. I mean it. Seven posts. Seven days. No breaks.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t simplify some. So today’s corn conundrum solves itself with a pasta dish.
It’s not something you see every day but “fresh corn and pasta make a great combination of flavors. When sun-dried tomatoes and toasted garlic are added you get an intensity of flavors that belies the simplicity of the cooking.”
That’s a quote from Michael Chiarello. He sums this pasta dish up very well– so I went ahead and included his words. The inspiration and flavors for today’s corn recipe comes from him. Sure I simplified and edited quite a bit from his original recipe, but I do believe I kept the spirit intact. So much intact that the quote seems to work with my version as well as it works with his. Besides I can’t imagine saying it any better than he did. Especially on day six of a week-long corn marathon.
But I still need to put my two cents in some place, so I decided to illustrate the perfect simplicity that defines this dish with an equally simple still life as my mise en place photo. I get a lot of pleasure putting together ingredient vignettes like this. The photo meanies don’t seem to like them, but it’s Day 6 and I don’t really care! Besides I like to think these shots are art, not food porn. Because for me there is pleasure in mise en place in general, whether I plan to photograph it or not.
- 3 oz sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 t sugar
- 1 lb angel hair or other thin pasta
- salt as needed
- 3 T olive oil
- 3 clv garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 small shallot, peeled and minced
- 2 T fresh oregano leaves, minced
- 3 ears of fresh corn kernels
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 T flat leaf parsley, minced
- fresh cracked pepper
Cut the tomatoes into fine julienne and place them, along with the sugar in a small bowl. Pour in just enough hot water to cover. Set aside to hydrate until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain well, squeezing out excess liquid. You may skip this step if you choose oil packed or pre-marinated sun-dried tomatoes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add good amount of salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Retain some of the pasta water for the sauce.
Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and shallots; saute briefly until lightly colored. Add the oregano, corn, balsamic and about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Cook, uncovered, until the corn is just tender, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes, half of the Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley and toss well. Toss with more of the reserved cooking water, if necessary, to moisten.
Pour the pasta into a warmed serving bowl, dust with a little more Parmesan, and scatter the remaining parsley on top, and give it a good grind of pepper. Pass the remaining Parmesan at the table. Serve immediately.
SERIOUS FUN FOOD