We all know that sweet corn and smoky bacon are a match made in heaven. But this delicious duo tastes even better when combined with hot cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, and fresh thyme and basil. Our Corn-and-Bacon Fettuccine is best made in the summer, when corn and fresh herbs are in season. While you can make this pasta with frozen corn, we don’t recommend it, because the cobs play an important role in this dish. Starchy, sweet corn “milk” (extra liquid from the cobs) thickens the sauce and adds flavor. To extract the liquid, run a de-kerneled cob over the small holes of a box grater set inside of a bowl (to catch the liquid). You can also run the blade of a chefs’ knife up and down the sides of a de-kerneled cob. Once made, serve the pasta immediately with plenty of freshly ground black pepper, to give the dish a welcome bit of heat.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.

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  • Meanwhile, cut kernels from corn cobs; set aside. Using small holes of a box grater, scrape milky liquid from cobs into a small bowl; set aside.

  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high, stirring often, until crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in corn kernels, shallots, thyme, 2 tablespoons of the basil, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until mixture softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Whisk together flour and 1/2 cup of the milk in a small bowl until smooth. Stir together reserved corn cob liquid and remaining 2 1/2 cups milk in a saucepan; bring to a simmer over high. Add flour mixture. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened and slightly reduced, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in pepper and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

  • Return bacon mixture to medium-high heat. Add cooked pasta and thickened sauce; toss to coat. Cook, tossing occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Divide pasta among 4 shallow bowls; sprinkle with Parmesan and remaining 2 tablespoons basil.