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Rule No. 21: Create Creaminess Without Cream
Milk Street Bowtie Campanelle Pasta with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

Campanelle Pasta with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

30 minutes

Campanelle Pasta with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

Free

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 as 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.

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 ears corn, husked
4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces, divided
2 medium shallots, minced
1 habanero chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
12 ounces campanelle or other short pasta
1 cup chopped fresh basil
Ingredients
  • 1

    pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 4

    ears corn, husked

  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces, divided

  • 2

    medium shallots, minced

  • 1

    habanero chili, stemmed, seeded and minced

  • 12

    ounces campanelle or other short pasta

  • 1

    cup chopped fresh basil

Directions
  1. 01
    In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt; set aside. Set a box grater in a large bowl or pie plate. Using the grater's large holes, grate the corn down to the cobs; reserve the cobs.
  2. 02
    In a large pot, bring 2½ quarts water to a boil. Add the corn cobs and 1 tablespoon salt, reduce to medium and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Using tongs, remove and discard the cobs, then remove the pot from the heat.
  3. 03
    In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the grated corn, shallots, chili and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the shallots have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1½ cups of the cooking water. Cook over medium-low, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened (a spatula should leave a brief trail when drawn through the mixture), 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. 04
    Meanwhile, return the remaining corn-infused water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until the pasta is coated and the sauce is creamy, about 2 minutes; if needed, add the reserved cooking water 2 tablespoons at a time to reach proper consistency.
  5. 05
    Off heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the tomatoes with their juices and the basil, then toss until the butter has melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Tip: Don't fear the habañero chili in this dish. It does add a little heat (seeding the chili removes much of its burn), but it's here mostly because its fruity notes are a nice complement the corn, tomatoes and basil.
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Campanelle Pasta with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

30 minutes

Tip

Don't fear the habañero chili in this dish. It does add a little heat (seeding the chili removes much of its burn), but it's here mostly because its fruity notes are a nice complement the corn, tomatoes and basil.

Ingredients
  • 1

    pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 4

    ears corn, husked

  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces, divided

  • 2

    medium shallots, minced

  • 1

    habanero chili, stemmed, seeded and minced

  • 12

    ounces campanelle or other short pasta

  • 1

    cup chopped fresh basil

Step 1 of 5

Grate and Save Corn Cobs

1
pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
½
teaspoon Kosher salt
4
ears corn, husked

In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt; set aside. Set a box grater in a large bowl or pie plate. Using the grater's large holes, grate the corn down to the cobs; reserve the cobs.

Step 2 of 5

Cook Corn Cobs

In a large pot, bring 2½ quarts water to a boil. Add the corn cobs and 1 tablespoon salt, reduce to medium and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Using tongs, remove and discard the cobs, then remove the pot from the heat.

Step 3 of 5

Combine Ingredients In Skillet

2
tablespoons salted butter
2
medium shallots, minced
1
habanero chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
1
tablespoon Kosher salt

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the grated corn, shallots, chili and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the shallots have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1½ cups of the cooking water.


Cook over medium-low, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened (a spatula should leave a brief trail when drawn through the mixture), 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4 of 5

Cook Pasta

12
ounces campanelle or other short pasta

Meanwhile, return the remaining corn-infused water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.


Add the pasta to the skillet and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until the pasta is coated and the sauce is creamy, about 2 minutes; if needed, add the reserved cooking water 2 tablespoons at a time to reach proper consistency.

Step 5 of 5

Taste, Season and Serve

2
tablespoons salted butter
1
cup chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Off heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the tomatoes with their juices and the basil, then toss until the butter has melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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Campanelle Pasta with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

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