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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

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Campanelle Pasta with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

Free

This recipe was inspired by a pasta dish served at Al Forno restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island. There, ears of corn are blanched, then the kernels are sliced off and mixed with chopped tomatoes, minced habanero chilies and fresh herbs, then tossed with olive oil and hot pappardelle. We instead grate the corn off the cobs, which yields a coarse puree of kernels and starchy corn “milk.” We then simmer the cobs in water to make a corn-infused broth to use as the base of the sauce as well for cooking the pasta. The ingredients in this summery pasta dish are few, so fresh corn and ripe tomatoes is key. 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.

4

Servings

Tip

Don't fear the habanero 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 to the corn, tomatoes and basil.

30 minutes

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 ¼ 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 1½ teaspoons 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 ½ 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 habanero 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 to the corn, tomatoes and basil.
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Reviews
Suzanne S.
August 30, 2022
A perfect summer pasta.
Very fresh and delish!
Michael D.
July 31, 2022
Don't fear the Habanero!
I was worried about the habanero pepper the first time I made this but I put my trust in Milk Street and they delivered. The fruity notes it brings with just a touch of heat is amazing. This dish is now a summer staple along with the corn cake.
Jennifer J.
July 23, 2022
So good!
I would never have thought to pair these ingredients. But, his is a go to in our house when corn is in season and we have too many garden tomatoes. I really like the flavor combination.
Anthony M.
July 23, 2022
Crazy Good!
We made this several times last summer, and it's back in our rotation this summer. One of my favorite ways to use sweet corn!
Rob F.
July 17, 2022
Love it!
During sweet corn season, we make this multiple times a week. We try to use larger cobs to grate as much corn as possible and serve it with freshly grated Parmesan. We love it!
Lorraine P.

This is a WINNER and a MUST to TRY!

I tried this recipe yesterday, (exactly as written), all I can say is WOW! My adult daughter who is mindful of eating too much carbs, requested seconds. Both teenage granddaughter and grandson, my husband and I also had seconds. We all cleaned our plates.

Thank you Milk Street!

Samantha S.

This is the perfect summer pasta dish. Great way to incorporate corn into a pasta in an inventive way! Much better than pasta salad with corn on the side. Delicious too!

Elizabeth S.

We loved this dish. Summer on a plate. So glad we didn’t fear the habenero!

Eileen M.

This was absolutely amazing!! I followed this recipe exactly. My adult children constantly ask when I will make this again. The combination of the corn, tomatoes, basil, and al dente pasta was sublime. Make sure you use fresh corn from your local farm stand. I was afraid about using the habanero, but am so glad I did. It added the perfect amount of heat! This dish is a total winner and will be in my regular summer rotation!!

Linda B.

This was amazing! Fixed it for my vegetarian step daughter, used gluten free pasta, and jalapeño since my small town store doesn’t carry habanero. You have introduced me to a new level with corn. Thank you!

Amber S.

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Karen A.

This is spectacular! Made this for the first time last summer and just made it again last evening. Perfect combination of everything that is abundant during summer. Light yet rich and there is no cream! Great vegan dish or for vegetarian day. Substituted a serrano for the habanero because that is what I had in the garden. Family loved it -- not very often they go back for third helpings! Thank you Milk Street!

Michelle C.

Tried this recipe for the first time a couple weeks ago. I had fresh corn from my friend's garden. I was missing some ingredients - the habanero, shallots, and grape tomatoes. I substituted a different hot pepper, red onion, and canned chopped tomatoes. It was delicious! My friend gave me more corn so I made this tonight exactly as written. Absolutely amazing!!! Fresh corn and tomatoes are key. And I'm a chicken when it comes to heat and the one habanero was perfect. Whenever corn is in season, I will be making this dish!

Jennifer L.

Made this tonight and my husband and I both loved it. It's the perfect end of summer pasta dish, an answer to what to do with all the corn and tomatoes you bought at the farmer's market. I'm sharing the recipe with family & friends -- can't wait to make it again.

P K.

Delicious. But the sweetness just isn’t our cup of tea.

Doran R.

This recipe is sensational! One of the most flavorful pastas ever and so unique! Everyone gobbled it up -- no leftovers. It's a bit of work, but worth it.

Doran R.

P.S. Can't wait to make this for my 40 year old son who was just diagnosed with a milk allergy. Perfect pasta for him -- no cream or butter, but you would never know it!

Sue L.

This was so flavorful! Followed the recipe but added 2 habaneros because I like spice. Will make this again.

Brenda C.

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Alicia G.

Out of this world. I tweaked by cooking some bacon and then cooking the corn in the bacon grease w/a little butter. A bit of Parmesan and the bacon on top. Wow. Husband ate three servings.

Teri K.

Great recipe, I've made it twice and my husband loves it (I put cheese on his)! Left out the hot pepper and used cayenne instead. I'm on WW and getting rid of cream and cheese, brilliant!

Gregory P.

Made this from memory after watching the video (x3) in in-game ads. Convinced me to sign up for 12-week. Have been making the NYTCooking version since last summer. This is better and easier. Cherry tomatoes a great touch.

Joni N.

This dish deserves to be on the mag cover! It is spectacular. The flavors and colors scream summer and I have made this several times for meatless Mondays! I have grated sooo many ears of peak season corn, cooked the cobs off to make the corn stock just so I could freeze both and make this in the fall/winter. Additions I have tried is adding bacon lardons, cayenne instead of habanero and grated parm. It just gets better! Bravo MS!

ROXANE P.

This is fantastic. We added a little crumbled Benton’s bacon on top.

Christine D.

Fantastic! I bought corn on a whim today and knew I needed to use it today or it just doesn't end up getting used. My daughter said it's the best thign I have ever made (and she's 22 so that's saying a lot!)

Rachel K.

Made this with cascatelle pasta (Dan Pashman’s shape invention) & it held up beautifully, carrying much of the sauce in every bite, The habanero gave a perfect amount of heat, a touch of warmth without being too spicy.

maureen s.

This was excellent and would definitely make it again.


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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 habanero 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 to 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
¼
teaspoon Kosher salt
4
ears corn, husked

In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes and ¼ 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 1½ teaspoons 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
½
tablespoon Kosher salt

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the grated corn, shallots, chili and ½ 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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Done!

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