Matt found the idea for this meal on Serious Eats who adapted it from Gourmet. I find it interesting that Gourmet thinks one pound of pasta serves 6 people while Serious Eats thinks it serves 2. For a main dish I think Gourmet is a little on the small side & Serious Eats is way too much. With all the vegetables in this recipe we would have been struggling to eat half a pound of pasta each, not even taking into account what a healthy serving size of pasta is.
Other than that issue, this was a wonderful recipe. We have lots of basil in the garden right now so I made the pesto from scratch but you should feel free to use a store bought pesto for this instead. Come dinner time this came together in a snap since the vegetables cook with the pasta.
I think we were both surprised at how much we liked this dish. The flavors were so tasty together especially since corn & zucchini are both in season right now. The fresh corn is sweet & the bacon adds the perfect saltiness. I would say using fresh corn is probably pretty important in this recipe. I'm afraid frozen corn might get to mushy & not have as sweet a flavor. Canned corn would definitely not work.
1 c fresh basil leaves
1/3 c pine nuts, toasted (I didn't have enough pine nuts so I used half almonds & it was just)
1 clove garlic
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 c olive oil
salt & pepper
Put the basil, nuts, garlic & cheese in a food processor & process until they create a chunky paste. Add the olive oil & process until smooth. Salt & pepper to taste.
Pesto Pasta with Corn, Zucchini & Bacon
3 sliced of bacon, chopped
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob (not cooked)
2 large zucchinis, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 lb pasta (fusilli, penne, farfalle)
Pesto (from above)
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain. Leave about 1/2 - 1 T of the bacon fat in the skillet for later.
Meanwhile, bring the water for the pasta to a boil. Salt the water & cook the pasta according to directions. When the pasta has 2 minutes left add the corn kernels & zucchini. When the pasta is done drain it & the vegetables, reserving a little of the cooking water.
Add the pasta & vegetables to the skillet with the reserved bacon fat & stir to coat. Stir in the pesto & bacon pieces. If the pasta seems dry add a bit of the cooking water.
Serve topped with Parmesan & pepper.