This is one of those recipes that stacks flavor or top of more flavor. The concept sounds simple, but here it’s the little things in each step that make the dish remarkable. Here it’s all about the corn. We owe this gem to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street magazine, September-October 2018 edition. We got rave reviews from those who tried the dish, and the universal comment was “I thought the habanero pepper would make it too hot, but it wasn’t!” Hope you give it a try.
P.S. We grilled the corn for our version
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 ears corn, husked
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) salted butter
2 medium shallots
1 habanero chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
12 oz campanelle or other short pasta
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil, sliced
In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes and 1/2 tsp salt; set aside. Set a box grater in a large bowl or pie plate. Using the large holes, grate the corn down to the cobs, reserve the cobs.
In a large pot, bring 2 1/2 quarts water to a boil. Add the corn cobs and 1 Tbsp salt, reduce to medium and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Using tongs, remove and discard the cobs, then remove the pot from the heat.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter. Add the grated corn, shallots, habanero and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring, until the shallots soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid. Cook over medium-low, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened (a spatula should leave a trail when drawn through), 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, return the remaining corn-infused water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until the pasta is coated and the sauce is creamy, about 2 minutes; if needed add the reserved cooking water, 2 Tbsp at a time, to reach the proper consistency.
Off heat, add the remaining 2 Tbsp butter, basil and tomatoes with their juice, then toss until the butter has melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Prep Time: 30 minutes