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Milk Street: The New Home Cooking

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Don’t toss your corn cobs: Grate the kernels and simmer the cobs for a creamy pasta sauce

Pasta with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

30 minutes

The ingredients in this summery pasta dish are few, so fresh corn and ripe tomatoes are key. To create a creamy sauce without cream, we grate the corn kernels from the cobs. To reinforce the corn flavor, we boil the cobs in the water that is later used to cook the pasta. Using a minimal amount of water—just 2½ quarts—means the flavors and starches are concentrated in the liquid, and we put some of this liquid to good use in the sauce. Yellow corn gave the dish a golden hue, but white corn worked, too. Whichever you use, make sure to remove as much of the silk as possible before grating. Short, sauce-catching pasta shapes are best here—if you can’t find campanelle (a frilly, trumpet-like shape), look for penne rigate, fusilli or farfalle.

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