by David Latt
Recently my wife and I spent a week in Sonoma County exploring restaurants, inns, and wineries, and came across a dish of grilled corn with a roasted garlic and butter puree at Jackson’s Bar and Oven in Santa Rosa. It occurred to me that the combination would be great with pasta; here’s my adaptation:
Pasta with Grilled Corn and Roasted Garlic
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
2 ears corn, husks and silks removed, washed
5 garlic cloves, skins on
1/2 cup Italian parsley, leaves only, washed, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sweet butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, for the pasta water
1 box or pound pasta
1 cup pasta water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or the grill to high. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the ears of corn and garlic cloves to coat. Season with sea salt and pepper. Grill or oven roast until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool, then remove the kernels and discard the cobs. Cut off the garlic skins, discard and set aside the softened garlic.
2. Add the Kosher salt to a large pot of boiling water. Pour in the pasta and stir well to prevent sticking. Stir every 5 minutes until al dente. About 10 minutes. Drain but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the still hot pot. Drizzle with olive oil, add 1 tablespoon sweet butter, season with sea salt and black pepper, stir well, and lightly cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.
3. In a chef’s or large pan, melt together the remaining tablespoon of sweet butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Finely chop the softened garlic and add to the butter-olive oil mixture. Heat over a medium flame. Add 1/2 cup pasta water. Stir well to combine. Simmer 5 minutes.
4. Add the corn kernels and cooked pasta to the sauce. Toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning with sea salt and pepper. Add the remaining pasta water if you want more sauce. Heat. Sprinkle with Italian parsley. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and a green salad or cooked vegetable like steamed spinach or broccoli.
Add 2 pieces finely chopped crisp bacon
Add 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes with the parsley
Add 1 cup grilled shrimp, whole or chopped