Pasta with Tomato, Mozzarella, and Corn
After days of eating fresh seafood, we craved 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 with the availability of fresh corn and tomatoes just would be different. Instead, I would opt for a heavier tomato-based sauce where the ingredients are cooked for hours.
When I made this, I didn't have any fresh basil, so I substituted fresh parsley. Basil would have worked better, but the parsley was fine. Next time I try this recipe, I may even try some fresh spinach.
We made this dish again with fresh basil from our garden, which was an improvement—still having trouble melting the fresh mozzarella so it doesn't clump into big pieces. We used mozzarella pearls this time, hoping they would melt more uniformly throughout the pasta, but that didn't work.
Please let me know if anyone has a sure-fire method to keep the mozzarella from clumping. I remember making a Blue Apron dish where we put the pan with the mozzarella into the oven, and we had better results. I'll give that a try next time.
We also reserved some of the water the pasta was cooked in to add at the end to make more sauce. As I say in the directions, add some if the sauce seems too dry, but be careful not to add too much, or it will be watery.
Still, this tomato, mozzarella, and corn pasta recipe was tasty.
Tomato, Mozzarella, Corn Pasta
- 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.
- Before draining the pasta, reserve a cup of the pasta water.
- 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 basil.
- 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.
- 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 basil. 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.
- If the pasta sauce seems dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. This may also help melt the mozzarella. Don't add too much or the sauce will be too watery. Let the sauce cook down for a minute or two to thicken the sauce.
- 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.
Some of My Favorite Pasta Recipes
- Discover the Rustic Charm of Tuscan Pici Pasta
- How to Make a Basic Orzo Salad
- This Is How to Make Spicy Ragu Sauce Over Pasta
- Cavatelli Pasta
- Cavatelli Pasta with Spring Peas and Pancetta Recipe
- Bucatini all'Amatriciana Recipe
- How to Make Strozzapreti Pasta with Guanciale Sauce
- Rigatoni with Mushroom Sauce Recipe