Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fettuccine with Corn Pesto

I think I've finally figured out how to speak "menu."  While eating leftovers of this amazing pasta at work I chuckled to myself about what I would say if someone asked me what I was having for lunch.  "Oh, nothing, just fettuccine with pan-roasted corn pesto, fresh basil, Peccorino Romano, and slab bacon."  I would shrug as I dug my plastic fork into my Snap Ware for another bite of the loaded pasta strands.

But no one asked, so I didn't mention it to anyone.  I just sat alone at my desk, reading food blogs, and trying not to spill any corn pesto on my legal pads.

Sure, "fettuccine with corn pesto" is the name of this dish, but the menu-ized version is much more accurate and reflects how amazing it really is.

On Monday mornings I settle into my desk (slash lunch table) and email a few of my friends what I was lucky enough to eat the previous weekend.  It wasn't just a salad, it was an arugula salad with fresh peaches, shaved Parmesan, and pesto dressing.  It wasn't just short ribs and potatoes, it was slow-cooked red wine short ribs over creme fraiche mashed potatoes.

People at work are starting to glean that I have an interest in food, but they have no idea how deep it runs.  So for now, I will eat my lunch in the company of my favorite food bloggers, and find comfort in my simple fettuccine leftovers.

This recipe almost didn't make it onto the blog because it is past prime corn season, but then I decided I couldn't hold out on you guys.  This is one of the best things I've made in awhile.  John and I couldn't stop eating it - though luckily we saved a smidge for me to bring to work and entertain myself.

Fettuccine with Corn Pesto
From Bon Appetit August 2010

Makes 4 large servings

4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus additional for serving
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound fettuccine (preferably from the refrigerator section, not the dried kind)
3/4 cup chopped basil leaves, divided

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, stirring often.  Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.  Leave the bacon grease in the pan, and add in corn, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Saute over medium high heat until corn is tender, about 8 minutes.  Transfer 1 1/2 cups corn kernels to a bowl and reserve.  Pour the rest of the corn mixture into a food processor and add in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and pine nuts.  With the machine running, add olive oil through the feed tube and blend until the pesto is almost smooth.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot until tender but still slightly firm.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.  Return the cooked pasta to the drained pot and add in the pesto mixture, reserved corn kernels, and 1/2 cup basil leaves.  Toss pasta over medium heat, adding in cooking water 1/2 cup at a time until it reaches desired consistency - for 2-3 minutes.  Season pasta with salt and pepper and serve pasta topped with grated Parmesan, bacon pieces, and basil leaves.

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