Lemony Pasta with Sweet Fresh Corn Sauce (plus a Vegan Option)
Summer trifecta – zesty lemon, sweet corn, herby basil, plus al dente pasta all tossed in a luscious sauce of puréed corn. A perfect weeknight meal.
This simple and quick dinner recipe uses puréed corn to create a nice thick, rich tasting, creamy sauce without all the fat. It’s a touch garlicky, finished with basil, parsley and lemon. This is a great late summer, early fall night meal, and the leftovers make a delish lunch too.
The reserved starchy pasta water is key to creating the creamy sauce so don’t forget to reserve a cup before draining the pasta. And another chef tip, BE BRAVE with salting your pasta water – it should taste like the ocean, so throw in a palmful of kosher salt as it boils.
A great meal to enjoy as the summer winds down, that takes advantage of seasonal fresh corn and herbs. However, save the recipe for later this year when you need a reminder of summer – it tastes just as good when made with defrosted frozen corn.
Sweet Corn Pasta with Seared Scallops
8 oz fresh Lemon pasta or fettuccine *
2 cups fresh corn kernels, divided (about 3 ears of corn)
½ cup 2% reduced fat milk or soy/almond milk
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons O&V Lemon EVOO *
8 scallops (U10)
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon onion powder
2-3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Slices or wedges of lemon
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, and keep warm, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
Place 1 ½ cups of fresh corn kernels in a mini food processor (reserve the remaining corn to add later). Process until almost smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add milk and cornstarch and pulse till well combined.
Heat the butter, if using, or 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Pat dry the scallops and sprinkle with the garlic and onion powder on both sides. Add the scallops and cook till lightly browned and cooked through, about 1 ½ – 2 minutes on each side (see Chef Tip below). Remove from the pan and keep warm.
Wipe down the pan and add the remaining EVOO and heat over medium. Add the sliced garlic and sauté until the garlic is lightly browned. Add pureed corn mixture, season with salt and pepper and add half cup of pasta water. Cook till thickened, stirring constantly. Add the ½ cup of reserved corn kernels
Add in the pasta and toss gently (add additional pasta water as needed to create the sauce and moisten the pasta). Sprinkle with the chopped basil and parsley and serve topped with the seared scallops, a squeeze of lemon juice and a lemon wedge
Time: 25 minutes
* Using a locally made lemon pasta or an Italian made lemon pasta adds an additional zesty flavor to this dish. If you use a plain pasta, add a squeeze of lemon juice to the pasta after you drain it for added zing.
* I particularly love using Oil & Vinegar’s Lemon EVOO — this Italian made fused flavored Lemon oil has a distinct, and delicious flavor that is key to the lemony flavor for the pasta sauce.
* For a vegan option, simply replace the 2% milk with soy or almond milk and substitute the scallops with roasted cauliflower florets.
Check out my post on The Art of Searing Scallops to get tips on making mouthwatering, amazing scallops for this dish and others.
Categories: Pasta, Seafood, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Option, Vegan Option, Scallops, Corn, Lemon EVOO, Lemon, Basil, Herbs, Easy, Mediterranean Diet, Weeknight Dinner, 30 Minute Meal