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Spaghetti with Fresh Corn, Scallions, and Bacon

Spaghetti with Fresh Corn, Scallions, and Bacon
7 votes, 4.71 avg. rating (92% score)

The corn gets sweeter and sweeter as the summer goes on. This dish is my adaptation of a pasta recipe with corn and bacon that Yankee ran back in 2003 — made a little lighter by replacing the cream with a mix of pasta cooking water (a classic Italian technique for sauces) and half-and-half.  I love how the sweet corn plays against the salty, smoky bacon. The scallions add depth and color and Parmesan ties it all together. It’s a quick weeknight supper that’s good enough for company.

Pasta with corn, bacon, and scallions

Photo/Art by Amy Traverso
Spaghetti with fresh corn, scallions, and bacon.

Spaghetti with Fresh Corn, Scallions, and Bacon

Total time: 45 minutes; hands-on time: 45 minutes

Cutting the kernels from ears of fresh corn takes a little more time than opening up a bag of frozen corn, but the results are absolutely worth the trouble.

  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon (or 6 slices regular bacon), cut crosswise into little strips
  • 5 scallions, green parts sliced crosswise, plus more for garnish
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh-cut kernels from 4 large ears of fresh corn
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, then add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until nicely browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add scallions and garlic to the bacon fat in the pan and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes, then add the corn, the salt, and a generous lashing of pepper and cook until the corn is softened but not cooked through, about 3 minutes.

The pasta should be cooked around this point. Use a ladle to transfer about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water to the pan with the scallion mixture, then ladle in a second portion. Stir in the Parmesan and let the liquid in the pan simmer and thicken a bit. Use tongs to transfer the cooked spaghetti into the pan with the scallion mixture (the starch from the pasta water will help thicken the sauce). Add the cooked bacon and toss everything together. Cook for a minute, then reduce the heat to low, add the half-and-half, and toss again. If the sauce is still very thin, cook another minute until it is thick enough to cling to the pasta. If it is too thick, add a bit more pasta water.

Transfer pasta to a serving bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan and scallions. Yield: 6 servings

Amy Traverso

Author:

Amy Traverso

Biography:

Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American. Follow !
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