George and I have made this pasta on repeat this summer. The perfect meal for a busy day, or one where you don’t feel like cooking. A real one-pot wonder! If you’re stumbling across this recipe when tomatoes and corn aren’t in season, try making it with canned tomatoes (just be sure to use a bit less water) and frozen corn, instead.
7/12/20 update: This recipe was originally written for my Epoch Times column and it has become a recipe loved by many over the past year!
One-Pot Summer Corn Caprese Pasta
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- 10” skillet or saucepan
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes (about 2 ½ cups), halved
- ½ pound dried fusilli pasta
- 1 large sprig of basil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- Kernels from 2 ears of corn (or 1 ½ cups frozen kernels)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 4 ounces mozzarella ciliegine balls, halved (about 12 mini mozzarella balls)
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- Place 1 pound halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 pound uncooked fusilli pasta, 1 large sprig of basil, 1 large minced shallot, 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a 10” saucepan or skillet. Pour in 2 ¼ cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. The water might not cover the pasta depending on the size of your pot – that’s OK!
- Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered, stirring often, for 9 to 11 minutes or until the pasta is cooked and most of the water has evaporated. Depending on the size of the pot you use, it may take more or less time for the water to evaporate – if the water evaporates before the pasta is cooked, add another ¼ cup of water and keep cooking.
- Remove basil sprig and discard. Stir in the kernels from 2 ears of corn and 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 1 minute to just take the starchiness out of the corn, but leave it nice and crisp. Taste and season with additional salt or red pepper flakes as desired.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup parmesan cheese until melted. Once the parmesan has melted into a smooth sauce, toss in 4 ounces halved mozzarella balls and 1/3 cup thinly sliced basil leaves by stirring just a couple times. The mozzarella balls shouldn’t melt completely, just get warm and gooey.
- Serve topped with basil, parmesan, and more red pepper flakes if desired.
- Cherry Tomatoes—> any tomatoes will work! Just 1/2-inch cube them.
- Fusilli pasta—> any small shaped pasta like penne or rotini or orecchiette.
- Basil—> fresh basil is pretty important to the flavor of this pasta, but 2 sprigs of fresh oregano would work too! Or 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
- Shallot—> 1 bunch of scallion,, 1/2 yellow onion
- .Garlic—> 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Red pepper flakes—> omit if you don’t like heat, or use 1/2 of a serrano pepper if you love heat!
- Corn—> you can omit the corn with no major foul to the recipe. Try adding roasted red pepper, or peas.
- Extra-virgin olive oil—> BUTTER!
- Parmesan—> manchego, pecorino romano, aged cheddar, or any other hard grated cheese.
- Mozzarella balls—> shredded mozzarella or a large ball of fresh mozzarella cut into cubes.
- If you use a pot or skillet wider than 10”, your water will likely evaporate before the pasta is cooked. Add more as needed until the pasta is cooked.
- Large tomatoes cut into small pieces would also work in place of the cherry tomatoes.
- Alternate grain pastas such as chickpea or brown rice will work here, just cook for a shorter or longer period of time until the pasta is al dente.