This particular post has been haunting me…I first wrote it back in September last year! Unfortunately things then got in the way – packing up an apartment, waiting for a visa in a land far far away, moving country etc. While waiting for my visa in a land far far away…New Zealand…I rewrote it and updated with a recipe…but once again, things got in the way and it didn’t get posted. So even though it is not seasonal for anyone in the world right now…here goes, as this recipe is SO good that I will be making it when corn hits the stores.
The French don’t eat corn on the cob. The closest they get to it is corn kernels in a can, which they go quite crazy for…you will invariably find it in at least 1 or 2 of the salads in most Parisien bistros. But try to buy a cob of corn – c’est impossible! And if you are lucky enough to find one, expect to pay upwards of €1.80 a cob. BTW, a cob which has already been shucked, cut down to size and clingfilm wrapped to death! Out of desperation, I admit to buying some the first summer I lived in France…and let’s just say that it really was only fit for a cochon (thats pig in French, which is what they consider corn on the cob’s purpose…animal feed!)
So when I’m in a country which celebrates corn, I go crazy for the stuff. And where am I right now? New Zealand…which does NOT consider corn to be animal feed. Even though this has to be the worst summer on record (I’ve spoken to people who can’t remember such a bad summer), while later than normal, fortunately the corn is still juicy and sweet.
Here’s a recipe that I have to share and, more importantly, capture on my blog so I can make it again in the upcoming Northern Hemisphere summer.
Corn, bacon and lemon pasta (recipe adapted from Donna Hay; serves 4)
– 4 rashers bacon, chopped (depending on the size of your rashers, I would add more than this as I love the combo of the salty, crunchy bacon and the sweet, nutty corn)
– 400g pasta (the recipe suggests Spaghettini…but I hate splash-back when eating spaghetti, so I tend towards penne!)
– 2 corn cobs, husked
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic crushed (if your garlic is a bit old, make sure you remove that nasty green bit in the middle)
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– ½ cup crème fraiche (or if in NZ, use sour cream)
– Sea salt and cracked pepper
– 1 cup basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 220C. Place the bacon on a tray and bake until crispy (10-12 minutes depending on how hot your oven runs). Roughly chop and set aside.
- Put a large pot of water onto boil and add a good amount of salt. Cook the pasta and corn together until the pasta is al dente. Remove the corn, and then drain the pasta, retaining 1/3 cup of the cooking water.
- Standing the corn cob on its end, use a sharp knife to run down the sides, remove the corn kernels from the cob.
- Place a small saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until golden (DO NOT overcook as you will have to start again).
- Using the pot that you cooked the pasta in, add the drained pasta, corn, oil and garlic, lemon juice, creme fraiche, and bacon. Stir to combine. Depending on the consistency, add the retained cooking water until you get a nice, loose dish. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the basil.