Summer corn! I love it all year long, but Summer corn is the best.
You may have noticed I make quite a few recipes with fresh corn and that's because besides being good for you, it tastes great.
It's easy to cut corn off the cob (set up the cob vertically in a bowl and slice the corn off with a paring knife) and the little effort it takes is worth it.
This Creamy Sweet Corn with Pancetta by Giada de Laurentiis is from her latest book, Giada's Italy (My Recipes for La Dolce Vita).
I adapted it quite a bit, mainly because I didn't want to use a fennel bulb in it. Instead, I used a small potato and it gave the dish a nice texture along with the corn. I also used a bit more pancetta because I had some leftover from another Giada recipe and it caused it to be a bit salty, so I left the salt out altogether.
I loved the creaminess the mascarpone cheese gave it, Then you add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and you have a cheesy, creamy corn dish made substantial with the chopped pancetta.
I've never used mascarpone cheese because I always thought it was gritty like ricotta, but it's actually like a very smooth cream cheese and slightly richer.
We had this Creamy Sweet Corn with Pancetta as a side to grilled steak, fresh tomato, and chunks of sweet watermelon. It was a wonderful meal. I do think this dish needs to be served immediately or within 30 minutes to be at its best.
This isn't a make-ahead side, but besides the small amount of chopping and grating, it's fairly easily to make.
This one is a keeper!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ lb. pancetta, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 small starchy potato, diced
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 C fresh kernel corn (4 large ears) or 16 oz. frozen
- ½ C mascarpone cheese
- 1 C freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ¼ C fresh basil, finely chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often until the pancetta is crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the diced potato and stir for about 2 minutes until softened.
- Add the shallot and red pepper flakes and cook an additional 3 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
- Stir in the corn and a couple of grinds of fresh pepper and mix well to warm and coat. Add 3 tablespoons of water, then fold in the mascarpone. Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir until everything is combined and creamy.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Serve immediately.
Tips and Stuff:
I used a block of pancetta and chopped it. Sometimes it comes sliced, but try to get it in a block from a deli to get a substantial texture.
You may want to serve small portions as this is fairly rich.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 531mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g
Nutrition Values are Approximate