Pasta with Tomato, Mozzarella, and Corn
After days of eating fresh seafood, we were craving some pasta but still wanted Jersey corn & tomatoes. So I whipped up this simple pasta recipe using some leftover corn from the night before and fresh mozzarella purchased before the trip at Costco.
The technique couldn’t be easier and I could have substituted any number of different ingredients to make a meal that was easy to prepare with lots of flavor. I used what I had on hand and it turned out ok.
The reason this dish is so tasty is the fresh ingredients. Trying this same recipe in the winter without the availability of fresh corn and tomatoes just wouldn’t be the same. Instead I would opt for a heavier tomato based sauce where the ingredients cooked for hours.
I didn’t have any fresh basil when I made this so I substituted fresh parsley. Basil would have worked better in my opinion but the parsley was fine. Next time I try this recipe, I may even try some fresh spinach.
Tomato, Mozzarella, Corn Pasta
½ pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
2 large, fresh, ripe Jersey tomatoes (any delicious fresh tomatos will do)
2 ears of leftover corn
1 egg of fresh mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoon fresh parsley
Salt & pepper - to taste
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
How To Prepare At Home
Start by heating up a large pot of water to cook the pasta. Add a little salt to the water to season the pasta from the inside out. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook to al dente or the firmness you like.
While the water is coming to a boil, prep the other ingredients. Finely chop the garlic, dice the tomatoes, remove the corn kernels from the corn cobs, dice the mozzarella into cubes and finely chop the parsley.
If you don't have some pine nuts already toasted, toast some up in a dry hot pan over medium heat being careful to move them around constantly so they don't burn.
The sauce for this recipe doesn't require much time. You want to cook everything fast so the tomatoes don't loose their fresh flavor and texture. Basically you are just heating them up and not breaking them down.
The time it takes to make the sauce is about 5 to 6 minutes so it's important to time everything so the pasta is done at the same time as the sauce. If the sauce is done first, the tomatoes will break down waiting for the pasta. If the pasta is done first, it will cool off and not melt the cheese.
Start by heating the olive oil in a large sauce pan or saute pan. The pan should be big enough to add the pasta to at the end to combine with sauce. If you don't have a pan big enough, you can combine the two in a large bowl.
When the oil is hot, had the garlic and saute for about one minute. Don't burn the garlic or the dish will taste bitter. Add the tomatoes & corn and cook for 3 to 4 minutes and turn the heat to low.
When the pasta is done, remove any for the kids who only want pasta with butter and add the rest to the sauce pan. Add the mozzarella cheese and parsley. Gently stir the mozzarella into the pasta and it should start to melt. It make take a minute or two but if the cheese is fresh, it will melt.
Taste and season with salt & pepper. You can add the pine nuts now and stir them into the dish or serve the pasta into individual bowls and garnish with the pine nuts for presentation.
Simple but delicious. A great way to enjoy August's fresh corn and tomatoes.
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