My friend, Brenda of Brenda's Canadian Kitchen, and I have been happily serving up Rachel Ray's recipes from Look + Cook for more than a couple of months now. One thing that I have learned during this time is that Rachel's recipes really deliver in the flavor department. I also love that while none of them are 30 minute recipes, they are in fact easy and simple, which is right up my alley. I loved the last recipe, Creole Meat Loaves with Trinity Sauce, so much that I got a jump start on this month's recipe right away. For this month I chose Rachel's Summer Corn Fettucine, which is in every sense, a true summertime pasta.
Rachel's recipe for corn fettucine begins by making a corn cream, a mixture of cream and fresh corn kernels blended into a very thick pale yellow cream. Bacon is cooked until crisp and mixed with sauteed peppers, shallots, more corn, herbs, hot sauce, and cheese and then blended with the corn cream and tossed with pasta. It is rich from the cream, flavorful from the bacon and veggies, spicy from the hot sauce, and herbaceous with the parsley and basil. I loved this unique blend of ingredients combined with pasta and definitely think it's worth a try when fresh corn is in season this summer.
Summer Corn Fettucine
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Look + Cook
1 pound fettucine
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling)
6 slices smoky bacon, chopped
6 ears corn on the cob, shucked
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used a green pepper)
1 cup half and half or cream
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (I omitted)
1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine
A few dashes of hot sauce or a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
A couple handfuls of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh sweet basil leaves, or chopped tarragon
Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with a drizzle of EVOO over medium to medium-high heat. Add the bacon to the pan and cook for a few minutes to crisp the bacon and render its fat. Place a small bowl inverted in a large bowl, steady the corn cobs on the smaller bowl, and scrape the kernels off the ears. Add three quarters of the kernels and the liquids to the bacon. Add the shallots and bell pepper to the corn mixture and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 5-6 minutes. Add the remaining corn to the food processor and puree with the cream. Stir in the thyme and the stock or wine into the corn mixture in the skillet, reduce for a minute, then stir in the corn-cream mixture. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken. Add the hot sauce or cayenne pepper and adjust the salt and pepper. Drain the pasta, then toss with the sauce, parsley, and a couple handfuls of cheese, about 1/2 cup. Top with basil or tarragon and pass the remaining cheese at the table.
Notes/Results: I've seen so many recipes combining corn and pasta and was curious to try it for myself. I really liked Rachel's idea of blending the corn kernels into the cream sauce and thought it was a super tasty and veggie-packed pasta with a slight kick from the hot sauce. Another great pasta dish!
You can find more Rachel Ray dishes over on Deborah's site every Saturday for her Saturdays with Rachel Ray feature.