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
Bring a large pot of salty water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
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.
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.
Add the drained pasta, season with salt and plenty of black pepper, and toss to coat in the sauce. Serve with the remaining Parmesan.