corn pesto with pasta

I made this a few days ago, and so far today I haven't eaten much- too busy checking out real estate in Georgia. The thought of a bowl of this corn pesto pasta is quite literally making my mouth water.

We've been looking at homes here in Atlanta, and the kitchen is a linchpin for me. Good lighting, good counter space. The possibility of beauty, of course- but as long as the bones are there, we can make it work.

Walking through other people's homes is a surreal experience. Seeing their furniture, their clothes hanging in the closets- it feels so invasive and inconsiderate. We've probably walked through at least 50 homes at this point, from dated cottages to brand-spanking-new-paint-drying suburbia houses. My favorites are the ones that have some character; something unique and interesting. A big yard for Truman, a spacious and functional kitchen with lots of natural light- those are my two biggest draws. I'm sure the perfect home will reveal itself soon, but until then, I'll be using my imagination to define it.

This pasta is one of my all-time favorite summer dishes. Fresh, white, sweet corn is definitely the best to use, although if you absolutely had to, you could probably get away with frozen kernels. It definitely won't be the same, but probably still delish.

Here's how it's done:

Cut the corn off the cob and cook it for a few minutes with the minced garlic.

While the corn is cooking, put the nuts, the basil, and the parmesan cheese in your food processor. 

Add the corn/garlic mixture (reserving about a cup) and pulse until well combined. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil.

corn pesto (5).jpg

Cook the pasta and return the pan to the heat. Add the blended pesto. Add the cooked pasta, scooping directly from the pasta water- you want a little water to thin out the sauce.

The best pastas for this are ridged, short noodle pastas, like penne, garganelli, orecchiette, the sauce is very thick and will cling. 

The best pastas for this are ridged, short noodle pastas, like penne, garganelli, orecchiette, the sauce is very thick and will cling. 

Toss well with the sauce, and serve with more parm grated on top.


4 c. fresh corn kernels- about six ears

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/4 t. kosher salt

3/4 t. pepper

1/2 c fresh parm, grated, plus more for serving

1/3 c toasted nuts (I used hazelnuts this time; pine nuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts…all would work) 

3/4 c fresh basil, chopped

1/3 c olive oil

1# pasta

Saute the corn with the garlic, salt and pepper over medium heat in a large saucepan. Cook for about five minutes, until the corn is just starting to soften and the garlic is fragrant.

Put the parmesan, nuts, and basil in your food processor. Once the corn has cooked, add 3/4 of the corn mix to the food processor, reserving the rest in the pan. Pulse until the pesto is well combined. Leave the processor running and drizzle in the olive oil.

Cook the pasta. Once it's al dente, add to the saucepan with the pesto and remaining corn kernels. Add pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with additional fresh parm on top.