wine night: spaghetti with corn, pancetta, and parmesan

Did I ever tell you that my maternal grandmother was Amish?  It's a long story, but the gist of it is that she grew up Amish, left to marry my grandfather, and over the course of several years rekindled her relationship with her Amish family.  We grew up with many Amish traditions, the biggest of which was food!  Delicious farm-grown corn and tomatoes are what I remember the most.  Anytime my grandma would come visit, she would stop off at the farm and bring us back huge bags of corn on the cob that we would freeze and use throughout the entire year.  Needless to say, I have a weird soft spot in my heart for corn. Especially when it's cut straight from the cob and kept simple.  Good corn doesn't need much fussing.

I have a point with all this romanticizing of corn.  The point is that I found the perfect way to incorporate those last ears of corn from the harvest in the most comforting dish.  Fresh juicy corn, rendered pancetta, delicate shallot, and aged Parmesan cheese all over a big, steaming, bowl of spaghetti.  When the corn hits the fat from the pancetta something amazing happens. The juices from the corn meet with the rich drippings and create just the lightest of sauces. It's magic.  Really really good magic.  Al and I licked our bowls clean, got seconds, and licked the bowls clean again!  It's that good.  You just have to make this for your Wine Night tonight!

Spaghetti with Corn, Pancetta, and Parmesan
Recipe adapted from Dinner A Love Story
Serves:         6  (just be prepared to have two servings) ;) 
Total time:  20 minutes (maybe even less depending on how fast your stove boils water)

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced (I love this brand because it's already diced in cute little cubes)
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper (easy on the salt though - that pancetta is salty and so is the cheese)
  • basil leaves, cut in chiffonade for garnish

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling.  Cook spaghetti to al dente, according to package directions.
  2. While pasta cooks, heat a skillet to medium.  Add just a touch of olive oil.
  3. When oil is hot, add in diced pancetta and fry until crisp.  
  4. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate.
  5. Keeping the grease in the pan, add in the diced shallot and corn kernels. 
  6. Cook until shallots are translucent and corn is cooked through.   It only takes maybe five minutes, just watch it.  Season with pepper and taste to see if it needs any salt.  
  7. Add parmesan and the cooked pancetta and stir to combine.
  8. Using a spider or slotted spoon, lift the cooked spaghetti from the water into the skillet.  Toss with tongs until the pasta is coated with the sauce.  
  9. Serve in shallow bowls with basil garnish.

Nutrition: (per serving)
  • Calories:  498
  • Carbs:  79
  • Fat:  13
  • Protein:  22


{photos by me}
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