Caramelized Corn Pasta with Asparagus

Fall is coming so let’s squeeze in that summer produce while we can. Tomato season has passed, but I was still able to make a great dish with fresh corn. I used this recipe but made one ingredient swap and used goat cheese instead of ricotta. Why? Because the vendor at the farmers market ran out of ricotta. The switch up was actually perfect because I find goat cheese to pack even more flavor. And the texture of fresh farmers market chevre is particularly luscious.

Slice the kernels off three cobs of corn and add the cobs to a pot of water. Once the water starts boiling, add 1 lb pasta (any shape) and cook until just before al dente. Make sure to reserve 1 1/2 c. pasta water. Next, stir the corn kernels, 1/4 tsp sugar, salt, and pepper in a skillet with oil until it begins to caramelize (about 6 min). Add 1 bunch of asparagus (thinly sliced at an angle), 3 minced scallions, and 1 tsp turmeric, and cook, stirring frequently, until just softened and corn is caramelized (2 to 3 min). Transfer the corn/asparagus mixture to a bowl (but don’t wash the pan – you’re about to use it again). Drain the pasta and throw away the cobs since they’ve done their job of infusing the pasta with extra corn flavor. Add 6 tbsp butter, 3 cloves minced garlic, and 1 more tsp of turmeric to the skillet and cook over medium until butter melts and starts to foam (about 3 min). Whisk in 1/3 c. vermouth to deglaze, cook 1 to 2 minutes, then whisk in 1 c. pasta water. Add the pasta and toss until coated. Remove from heat, stir in half the corn mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Dollop with goat cheese, top with remaining corn mixture, and drizzle with olive oil. If using lemon, shower the pasta with lemon zest, then cut the lemon into quarters, for squeezing on top, and serve immediately. My beau and I both agreed we didn’t need this extra squeeze of lemon juice and prefferred it with an extra dash of pepper instead. I suspect our preference may be an effect of the cheese change-up.

Seasonal and pasta. Speak my language, why don’tcha.