Cream cheese and half-and-half meld together to make this wonderfully luscious sauce. A hot, creamy pasta dish does not always have to be loaded down with heavy sausage and cheese. This quick and easy dish is on the table in less than 40 minutes and perfect for a weeknight meal. This pasta dish gets its fresh flavor with the help of fresh corn kernels, thyme, and chives. When making any type of pasta dish, however, one simple trick will take the dish from good to great. The key to making great tasting pasta is in the cooking water. The salty, starchy liquid seasons your homemade sauce, gives it a silky texture and helps it cling to the noodles. Add about 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to a large stockpot of water before boiling. When the pasta is cooked, reserve a couple of cups of cooking water before draining the pasta, and proceed with the recipe. Bring a bit of summer to your dinner table with fresh ingredients and enjoy the family time.
16 ounces uncooked penne pasta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (4 ears)
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup fresh chives, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 3 oz.)
How to Make It
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking water.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add half of the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate. Repeat process with remaining butter, oil, and mushrooms. Return mushrooms to Dutch oven. Add corn; cook, stirring often, until corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Add cream cheese, half-and-half, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until cream cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Add pasta, and stir to combine. Stir in reserved cooking water, 1/4 cup at a time, until sauce reaches desired consistency. Discard any remaining cooking water.