For this summer pasta, bacon is cooked in a pan and then the rendered bacon fat is used as a flavorful and rich base which is emulsified into the cream sauce packed with sweet corn kernels and heirloom tomatoes.
Tomato Corn Pasta with Bacon Cream Sauce
For this summer pasta, bacon is cooked in a pan and then the rendered bacon fat is used as a flavorful and rich base which is emulsified into the cream sauce packed with sweet corn kernels and heirloom tomatoes. As the tomatoes cook, the sweet juices that seep out mix with the salty bacon fat. When cooking the bacon, it’s best to start with a cold pan so the bacon fat renders slowly, and the pieces crisp up perfectly.
Twisted pasta shapes like fusilli or strozzapreti, as well as shell-like shapes, are great for light creamy sauces such as this one. I like using lumache pasta though it can be difficult to find. It’s a shell-shaped pasta named after a snail shell that has a pinched end which works to trap sauce in the tubes.
2ears yellow cornkernels cut off the cob (about 2 cups of kernels)
1½cupsheirloom cherry tomatoeshalved
Kosher saltas needed
½poundlumache pastaor other twisted or shell pasta
Add the strips of bacon to a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon, reserving as much fat in the pan as possible, about 6 tablespoons.
Add the butter and allow to melt then add the corn and cook until the kernels are tender about 5 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes and garlic, cooking, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened and some of the juice has evaporated, about an additional 5 minutes.
Add the flour and stir to combine. Let the roux cook for a minute until a pale golden brown. Add the milk, stirring to incorporate. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Stir in the basil.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Pour the cream sauce over the pasta and half the bacon, stirring to combine.
Divide among warmed pasta bowls and top with the remaining bacon. Serve immediately.
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