Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Corn, Tomato, and Asparagus

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Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Corn, Tomato, and Asparagus
This recipe appears in:
Meatless, Manic Monday....Dinner June 21, 2010?

This dish was inspired by two things: a trip to a restaurant called Finch's in Bloomington, Indiana, and a later trip to the farmer's market. At the restaurant, they served me a rich pasta with corn, crisp snap peas, and tomato. The best part about it was the soupy, buttery broth underneath everything. Usually when I cook pasta I aim for a consistency between dry and soupy, but this really hit the spot.

So at home, armed with some delicious Indiana corn, cherry tomatoes, and asparagus, I set out loosely following a recipe for orecchiette with broccoli rabe. The part I liked was the chicken broth that the vegetables were poached in; they weren't sauteed in oil so were kept delicate, and whatever the vegetables didn't soak up ended up in the bottom of the bowl as a butter and Parmesan-infused broth.

It's not a bad technique for creating any impromptu pasta with a farmer's market haul.


  • 1 pound shaped pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 ears corn, kernels sliced off
  • 15-20 cherry tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper


  1. 1.

    Bring a large pot of salty water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente.

  2. 2.

    In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is soft and fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

  3. 3.

    Add the vegetables to the broth and cook until tender but still al dente (in the case of the asparagus). Stir in the butter and 3/4 of the Parmesan and cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Add the drained pasta, season with salt and plenty of black pepper, and toss to coat in the sauce. Serve with the remaining Parmesan.

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