Sweet Corn and Bacon Pasta
Nothing quite says “end of summer” to me like sweet corn.
This Sweet Corn and Bacon Pasta recipe is a great way to take advantage of the summer bounty. It is also delicious with frozen kernels if you need to infuse a bit of summer into your life in the middle of winter.
This dish works well to prep and cook at the same time. You should have time to cut onions while the bacon cooks, corn while the onions cook, etc.
My favorite method for cutting corn kernels off the cob is to use a Bundt pan. See this video from Saveur.
Other greens would also be delicious. I have made it with chard or kale instead of the arugula. These greens require a little more cooking than arugula so I would suggest adding them in with the onions during the last few minutes of cooking before adding the corn, etc.
- 8 oz chiocciole pasta, (or any short pasta with nooks and crannies such as penne)
- 4 oz bacon
- 1 med sweet onion, cut in slivers
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup corn kernels, (from two large ears or frozen)
- 4 oz arugula, (~4 c of leaves)
- 2 oz cream cheese, divided into small pieces.
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 10 minutes.
- While the bacon is cooking, fill a large pot with salted water and bring it to a boil.
- Remove bacon from skillet and set aside. Keep 2 tbsp of the bacon grease in the pan. (Depending on the bacon used, the amount of grease can vary greatly – if you have too much, drain off some of the fat – if you have too little, supplement the bacon fat with a little bit of olive oil.)
- Add the onion slivers and reduce heat to low. Cook gently for approximately 15 minutes until the onion is tender and starts to caramelize.
- Meanwhile, add the pasta to the water once it starts to boil. The timing will work best if you start the pasta cooking when the onions have 5 minutes to go.
- Cook until al dente – you want to drain it when it still has a bit of bite so that it can finish cooking in the sauce at the end. Save ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
- After the onions are caramelized, add corn kernels, salt, and wine. Return heat to medium-low and cook for 2-3 minutes to reduce the wine a bit and tenderize the corn. Add arugula and cook for 1-2 minutes until wilted.
- Add ¼ cup pasta cooking water to the mix and stir in the cream cheese. Add drained pasta and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes until pasta is well coated with sauce. If it seems dry, add a little more pasta cooking water.
- Top with ground black pepper. Depending on the saltiness of the bacon fat, you might want to add a touch more salt.
- Crumble bacon and top each serving of pasta with bacon bits.