this dish has been rolling around in my head for a while now. i really wanted to use canned creamed corn in a recipe (don’t ask me why, i can’t even begin to tell you) and once our dear friend jonny gave us some homemade bacon, i knew i had the perfect combination of flavors to pull it off. the prep time for this is minimal, but the “sauce” does have to simmer on the stove for a little while to thicken. plan accordingly.
creamy corn pasta with bacon
- 1/2 pound slab or thick cut bacon
- one bunch (about 6-7) scallions, white and light green portion only
- 2 cans creamed corn
- one pound rigatoni or other large pasta shape
cut the bacon into chunks or cubes. add this to a large pan over a medium flame. cook this slowly while stirring often, rendering the fat, until it’s crispy. remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and set it aside. remove all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat and discard or save for future use (coughfriedeggscough).
cut the scallions into small discs and then add them to the remaining bacon fat. saute for about two minutes until they begin to soften and then add the contents of both cans of corn. bump the heat up slightly and stir occasionally, allowing the mixture to thicken and reduce—about 20-25 minutes. meanwhile, cook the pasta per the package instructions.
grab one cup of pasta cooking water and set aside. add the cooked pasta to the reduced sauce and toss gently adding about 1 cup of pasta water* to loosen the sauce and bring it together with the pasta. add the bacon back in, toss gently, and serve immediately.
notes: fritz really liked this pasta, and was licking the spoon (and his lips) while i was cooking the sauce. the bacon imparts a really nice saltiness to this dish, and i found that it didn’t need the other flavor i was going to add: goat cheese.
*you are probably wondering why i had you reduce and thicken the sauce just to thin it again. a couple of reasons actually:
- reducing the sauce intensifies the flavors of the sweet corn and slightly caramelizes the sugars
- using the pasta water helps the sauce stick to the pasta because of the starches in the water