I'm a sucker for any pasta dish even faintly resembling a carbonara, so it's no wonder I bookmarked this recipe from Urban Italian. Six cups of corn may seem like overdoing it, but half of it is actually puréed with the milk and cream to make an incredibly corny, creamy sauce. Paired with fresh pasta and dotted with more corn, crisp bacon, and earthy shiitake, I don't think anyone could resist.
Win 'Urban Italian'
Courtesy of Bloomsbury, we're giving away five (5) copies of Urban Italian: Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food. Enter to win here »
- 1 1/2 cups diced bacon
- 2 pounds shiitake (or oyster or wild) mushrooms, each one cut in half
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 pound fresh fettucine
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- A pinch of salt
Put a large pot of salted water to boil.
Sweat the bacon in a medium pot at medium-high heat, without any oil, until the fat is rendered and the bacon begins to crisp, about 3 minutes.
Add 3 cups of corn and the mushrooms to the bacon pot; cook together until flavors blend and mushrooms caramelize slightly, about 2 minutes.
In a blender, blend the remaining 3 cups of corn, the milk, and the cream together on high speed until the mixture is all liquid, about 1 minute.
Strain the corn-cream mixture through a chinois or a fine strainer into the bacon-mushroom pot, pushing mixture down with a heavy spoon so all the liquid ends up in the pot. Simmer all ingredients together until corn mixture heats through and starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, when the water comes to a rolling boil, add the fresh fettucine; cook until it is just al dente, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Remove pasta with tongs; add to the bacon-mushroom-corn mixture in pot. (Do not rinse pasta—you want all that stickiness so sauce will adhere.) Mix well to thoroughly coat pasta.
Turn off heat; mix in the parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season with salt and more pepper.
Plate the pasta, covering each serving with sauce that remains in the pot.