Friday, January 7, 2011

Tomatoes, Corn and Pasta

My mom was always really good at whipping up dinner with (as far as I could tell) nothing to cook in the kitchen. It is not something I excel at but I have found this getting easier as the meals go by. This is a meal I make when my kitchen is relatively devoid of groceries. A between shopping trips meal.

This recipe doesn't have to be corn, tomatoes and a half a red pepper. Corn, tomatoes, asparagus, peppers, black olives, green beans, peas, bacon, red onions. What do you have in the fridge, freezer or pantry? Use approximately a cup to a cup and a half of each item (maybe 1/2 cup for something as strong as bacon) to about a pound of pasta. This kind of dish works better with shaped pasta like Orecciette, Cavatelli or Farfalle than long pasta like vermicelli or spaghetti. If you have a few symbiotic vegetables, some non-stringy dry cheese (like parmesan) and pasta you are good to make dinner. If you are using a vegetable like asparagus or green beans, cut it into 3/4 inch pieces and blanch. If you want to keep them bright green, drop it in a bath of ice water after blanching and then drain. Thyme doesn't go with everything so you might consider replacing the herb with something that goes with the adornments you are adding to your pasta. If you have nothing to saute and want to cook your garlic you can drain your pasta and then add it to a pan that you have cooked the olive oil and garlic in for a minute or two. Mix well and proceed.

Tomatoes, Corn and Pasta

2 T Olive Oil
1 cup fresh corn scraped from the cob or frozen
3 cloves of garlic, minced
half of a red pepper cut into 1/3 inch cubes
pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 lb of shaped pasta
3/4 - 1 cup grated parrmesan
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper

Set a large pot of water to boil. Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium-low. Add the corn. For fresh corn cook for just 1 - 2 minutes, with frozen corn, 4 - 5 minutes. Add the thyme and the garlic and cook for 1 - 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat. Cook the pasta but before draining scoop a 1/2 a cup of the pasta water and set aside. In a large serving bowl mix together the pasta, corn, peppers and tomatoes. Add the cheese and mix everything together. If it seems too dry, add a little of the pasta water.

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