Two Great Summer Corn Pastas (One to Eat, the Other to Cook)
"Hey, Ed. Can you give us a hand with our stuff?" I said sure and loaded the four boxes and two bags of produce into a cab along with Carmellini and two of the cooks at the restaurant. We took the cab to 27th and Park, and then we schlepped the boxes one block to the restaurant. By this time, it was 11:45 a.m. and A Voce was about to open for lunch. When in A Voce, or should I say Rome, I said to myself, so I decided to have a bowl of pasta. Although Carmellini first became known to the culinary world as the opening chef at Café Boulud, he is one of my favorite pasta cooks (which is a good thing, since A Voce is first and foremost an Italian restaurant).
I ordered the corn ravioli, which turned out to be one of the best plates of food I have eaten in recent memory. Also one of the ugliest. The corn in the ravioli was almost dessert-sweet, and the ravioli were surrounded by hen of the wood mushrooms, smoked tomato salsa, and topped with corn foam. It sounds overly complicated, but it tastes like heaven. The dish managed to combine the essence of corn, pasta, and summer in one remarkable dish. The moral of the story: Don't judge a plate of pasta by its foam.
I'm sure Andrew would give me the recipe if I asked for it, but any recipe that requires making corn foam and smoking tomatoes is going to be well beyond most home cooks' grasp. So instead here's an easy and equally delicious summer corn pasta recipe: Fettucine with Rock Shrimp, Corn, and Jalapeños, from The Young Man and the Sea, the book I wrote with Dave Pasternack, the chef-owner of Esca. I made it this weekend with frozen corn (a thunderstorm waylaid me on the way to the farmers' market), and it was seriously good.