Ingredient List Print Recipe
- 8 to 12 ounces dried chiocciole pasta (you can also use other hollow pasta like macaroni or mezze rigatoni)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups canola oil
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large pinch red chile flakes, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup onion, finely minced
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels (I used a mix of red and blue corn)
- 1 1/3 cups corn juice from fresh corn kernels (I used a mix of yellow and white corn)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup aged pecorino Romano, grated
- Whole basil leaves, for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Creamy Corn Pasta with Crispy Shallots
All great recipes have contrasting textures and complementary flavors. This creamy corn pasta checks all of the boxes—with sweet corn, spice from chile flakes and lots of black pepper, acidity from fresh tomatoes, and a topping of crunchy fried shallots and the salty kiss of pecorino Romano cheese. Here, I’ve used a few different corn varieties, but feel free to use whatever is available at your local market.
SERVINGS: 2 to 3
Cook the pasta to al dente in a large volume of rapidly boiling salted water. Reserve a 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain and reserve pasta to a bowl, tossing with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Heat the canola oil to 225 degrees F in a small pot. Fry the shallots for 4 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and reserve to a plate lined with a paper towel. Raise the heat on the oil and when the temperature is at 375 degrees F, fry the shallots again for about 30 seconds, or until browned and crispy. Reserve.
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan with high sides. Add the chile flake and onion, then season with salt. Add the corn kernels and cook for 5 minutes. Next, pour in the corn juice, cream and black pepper. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 4 minutes. Add the reserved pasta to the corn sauce and stir to combine. Mix in 2/3 of the pecorino Romano and cook for about a minute. If needed, add small amounts of reserved pasta water at a time to thin the sauce to a desired consistency.
Divide the pasta into serving bowls. Garnish with whole basil leaves, halved cherry tomatoes, the remaining pecorino romano and crispy shallots.
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