I think I may be on to something. I have eaten it for three consecutive nights now, and it still tastes just right for my mid-August appetite.
This is a dish I will crave from November through April, because I won't be able to have it. It is a dish for now. You will need incredibly sweet corn on the cob, a few good tomatoes, and some ripe avocados. A handful of basil, a clove of garlic, some olive oil, some goat cheese. Cooking in the summer should be simple.
The avocados make the sauce creamy without needing cream. The corn and tomatoes taste so good together, but I imagine you could throw in whatever garden produce that needs to be eaten: peas, zucchini, grean beans. Top with any odds and ends of cheese you have on hand, but I like the tang of the goat cheese.
This pasta reminds me of a dish I used to order at the Old Yellowstone Garage. A simple pasta with fresh corn kernels, fresh tomatoes, and curly long pasta, available only in August for a brief time. OYG is not longer with us as the owners have retired to the Piedmont region in Italy, but maybe my version of their summer pasta will live on.
An idyllic scene, for sure, until Rosie made friends with the skunk who lives near the owls. Yuck.
Summer Pasta with Corn, Tomatoes and Avocados
- 1 Lb. penne pasta, or other sturdy pasta
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 ears of fresh corn (taste a bit of the corn first; if it is not perfectly sweet, it's a dealbreaker for this dish.)
- 2 large or 5 small tomatoes, chopped
- 3 ripe avocados, chopped into 1 inch dice
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- handful of basil, chopped
- 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled (about half of a small log)
- 1/2-1 cup pasta water
- 1/2-1 tsp.salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil.
- Cut the kernels off the corn cobs. I find the best way to do this is to use a deep bowl and place it in your sink. Stand the corn on the cob straight up, and slice off the kernels with a sharp knife. Now "milk" the corn juices off the cob by scraping the dull side of the knife along the bare cob into the bowl.
- Saute the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the corn and tomatoes.
- Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to reduce.
- Once the water is at a rolling boil, at 1 Tbsp. coarse salt and all the pasta. Stir, and bring back to a boil.
- Cook the pasta until just underdone; you will cook it a bit more with the sauce later. Drain in a colander, reserving 1 cup of pasta water for the sauce.
- Now add the avocado, crumbled goat cheese and the salt to the corn/tomato sauce. Stir gently on low heat until the sauce looks creamy. Taste. Add more salt if needed.
- Add some of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce slightly, and add the drained pasta. Heat through.
- Pile it all onto a pretty bowl and garnish with basil. Grind fresh pepper over. Serve warm.