This is a recipe I hope you go back to again and again in the heat of the summer. I have relied on this no-fail Seriously Simple dish when it is just too hot to cook. Use whatever pasta you prefer. If you’re someone who prefers a healthier option, try whole wheat pasta or any of the new varieties like garbanzo bean pasta.
This sauce showcases the best of summer produce, blending together chopped, very ripe tomatoes, fruity olive oil, and minced garlic. Use a corn shucker to take the sweet kernels off the corn cobs and toss into the sauce along with fresh basil and Italian parsley. The herbs add lots of flavor with few additional calories.
Mozzarella cheese adds some calories, but it is so delicious that I think it’s worth it. Mozzarella balls come in varying sizes, from tiny perlini to large balls. If you can find “perline” fresh mozzarella, use that so you don’t have to cut up the cheese. If you feel like giving this pasta an even richer component you can substitute fresh burrata instead of the mozzarella.
Sometimes I’ll throw in any cooked meat or seafood to add some heft to the dish. Or I’ll add some chopped olives to enhance the flavor. Remember that the only cooking required is boiling the pasta, which leaves you plenty of time to enjoy your family and friends. A pinot grigio, rosé, or sauvignon blanc would be a lovely accompaniment to the pasta.
Summer Spaghetti With Tomatoes and Corn
Serves 4 to 6
For the Sauce
- 2 ears yellow or white corn, husked
- 2 pounds ripe Roma, heirloom, or beefsteak tomatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (look for a fruity one)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped basil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 pound fresh Mozzarella cheese, diced into 1/2-inch pieces or perline-size mozzarella balls or burrata, torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Pasta
- 1 pound spaghetti or linguini or pasta of your choice
- Extra whole basil leaves, for garnish
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
To shuck the corn, hold the husked corn on the vertical on a cutting board and slide the chefs knife down the sides releasing the corn kernels. (You can also use a corn shucker.) Transfer the corn to a medium pasta serving bowl.
Combine all remaining sauce ingredients in the bowl and mix to combine.
Just before serving: Add salt to a large pot of boiling water. Add pasta and cook over high heat until al dente. Drain well.
Pour pasta over sauce and using tongs, mix to blend all the ingredients together. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with basil leaves and pass Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Advance preparation: The sauce can be prepared four hours in advance, covered, and left at room temperature.
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