Toward the end of August, I start to freak out about the fact that I haven’t cooked enough corn and tomatoes. On the fear scale, it’s not at the top (definitely below scary, aggressive wasps), but it certainly gets me moving to the farmers market quicker than I’m used to moving. I know there will come a time when these gems of summer will dwindle down, and we’ll all have to wait 10 more months for their return… but I’m trying not to think about that right now.
To savor my favorite summer duo, I whipped up this pasta with fresh ricotta, bacon, and basil. It was so good that I have decided to share the recipe with you!
I was hoping to have this more like a creamy corn sauce, like in this recipe here. But I’ve also been really enjoying my homemade ricotta kick lately, so I opted for that instead of heavy cream. Well, to be honest, it probably would be best with homemade ricotta AND heavy cream, but if I cooked like that every weeknight, I’d have a lot of trouble fitting in my skinny jeans this fall.
I recommend making this dish with one of Lore Pasta’s amazing local (and healthy) ancient grain pasta varieties. We picked up ours from the 31 & Main Farmers Market in Ewing, NJ, but also find it year round at the Stockton Market (Stockton, NJ). And for real nice smoky bacon, you must venture out to Brick Farm Market (Hopewell, NJ). DON’T skimp on the bacon – it completes the dish! Sorry to my vegetarian followers… if I have any 😛
You can make ricotta like I did, but Fulper Farms (Lambertville, NJ) also makes a wonderful ricotta that works in a pinch. I love mixing ricotta in with my noodles because it kind of feels like a deconstructed version of a ravioli. Unfortunately, raviolis take forever to make. Mixing ricotta in with your pasta takes 2 seconds. Lazy home cook win!
Enjoy this recipe. And if you, too, are starting to worry that you haven’t done enough with this season’s produce, don’t worry. This handy seasonal availability report says we have plenty more corn and tomatoes to enjoy.
Jersey Corn & Tomato Summer Pasta Recipe
4 ears of corn
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
6 slices of bacon, diced
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup of ricotta
4-5 basil leaves, torn or chiffonade
- Bring 2 large pots of water to a boil.
- While water is boiling, shuck your corn.
- Once water comes to a boil, turn off one of the burners and put the corn in. Cover with lid and let the corn cook for 10 minutes. Remove corn once it’s cooked and let cool for 5 minutes (or until cool enough to handle).
- In the other pot of water, cook your pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, place a sauté pan over medium heat and crisp up your bacon.
- Remove the kernels from the ears of corn, and add to the pan with the bacon.
- By now the pasta should be finished cooking – drain it (but reserve a cup of cooking liquid) and add to the sauté pan with the bacon and corn. Throw in a tablespoon of butter and stir to combine. Stir in reserved pasta water a little bit at a time to get a creamier consistency. Season with salt.
- Plate your pasta amongst 4 plates, and top with fresh halved cherry tomatoes, a heaping spoonful of seasoned ricotta, and basil. I like to mix it all up and enjoy!