Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Bacon and Corn 'Pesto'

When it comes down to it, my favorite food is pasta. And if you held a gun to my head, I'd probably say that carbonara is my favorite pasta. I love its creaminess-with-no-cream, the chewy, salty bits of bacon, the roundness of Parmesan, the bite of black pepper. So it's not with any flippancy that I say that this recipe reminds me of carbonara, and in the best of possible ways. It's creamy, bacony, and satisfying—yet it's also a lot lighter and more fitting for summer.

The creaminess comes from the starch in the corn, which is blended up with Parmesan and pine nuts to make a "pesto" of sorts that glossily coats the noodles. I found the recipe in Bon Appetit in a feature about ways to use up those staples of summer produce: corn, tomato, and zucchini. The corn is softened in the rendered fat from the bacon, then some of the corn is left unblended to give the pasta more texture. Slivered basil gives the whole dish that unmistakable fragrance of summer, and black pepper lends a hint of spiciness.

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