Spaghetti with Fresh Corn and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

This pasta makes use of our summer bounty of cherry tomatoes.  We slow-roast them then add to creamy sun-dried tomato pesto sauce and toss with summer corn, noodles and fresh basil.  The sweet corn lends a pleasant and unexpected crunch.  The roasted tomatoes—rich, concentrated flavor in each bite.  Feel free to substitute frozen corn for the fresh, and uncooked cherry tomatoes (halved) for the slow-roasted ones.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup milk (I use 1% but substitute 2% or whole if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto (store-bought or fresh)
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (or a mixture of Parmesan and fresh ricotta or goat cheese)
  • Slow-roasted cherry tomatoes (about 2 to 3 tablespoons), see recipe or one handful raw cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 ears fresh corn kernels, cut from the cobs (tips for cutting)
  • Olive oil
  • 3/4 pound uncooked spaghetti
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Basil leaves, torn

Method:

  1. Warm milk in a saucepan over low to medium-low heat.  Whisk in pesto and cheese.  Heat slowly until cheese melts and sauce thickens slightly.  Remove from heat and purée in a blender or with a handheld immersion blender if the sauce is lumpy.  Taste and add more pesto or cheese if needed.  Set aside.
  2. Heat one tablespoon or so oil in a large skillet.  Add corn and cook over medium heat until kernels darken in color, about 2 minutes.  Remove kernels from the pan and set pan aside for later use (no need to wash).
  3. Cook spaghetti according to directions, in a large saucepan filled with salted water, until nearly al dente.  Drain (saving some cooking water) and add to the large skillet along with sauce.  Warm slightly over low heat.  Add cooked corn plus slow-roasted tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes).  Moisten with a small amount of pasta cooking water to thin sauce (one teaspoon at a time) as needed, so noodles are fully coated with sauce.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, and garnish with lots of torn basil leaves before serving.
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