The time of year when summer meets fall is my absolute favorite. The weather is still hot, which I prefer (dramatically so) over the cold, but the evenings start to cool off a bit, which is nice.
My grandparents would often use this time to drink tea in our garden and prep vegetables that they had picked during the day. My grandfather grew corn, my grandmother was an expert corn shucker, and I’m fairly certain that I was too.
This creamed corn linguine takes me back to one of those late summer early fall evenings. The pasta sauce is made with both creamed and whole fresh corn, smoked cheddar, adobo peppers, and heavy cream. I like cherry tomatoes, cilantro, basil, or even crumbled bacon bits as toppings.
How to Shuck Corn
This recipe calls for six ears of corn, which will feel like a lot, but once it comes together in the sauce it’ll be just right! Any color of corn will do. Allegedly, white and yellow corn taste the same. So, use whichever corn looks the best at the farmers market or grocery store. Pick corn that is firm to the touch and bright in color. Steer clear of corn that appears to be shriveled or browning.
There are several ways to shuck corn, but I find this the simplest:
- Stand the corn vertically, with the stem-side down and the tip facing up.
- Peel the outer leaves without removing them.
- Separate the silk on the top to reveal the corn kernels. Rub downward with your hand, taking the silks and remaining leaves with it.
- Snap off the bottom stem—the husk should also come right off.
How to Cut the Corn Off the Cob
To cut the corn off the cob, stand the shucked corn vertically inside a large bowl. Using a small sharp knife, cut downward to remove the kernels off the cob. Once all the kernels are removed, take the back of the knife and carefully scrape any remaining “milk” off the cob. Don’t skip this step! This is an opportunity to get all of the sweet, flavorful juices from the cob.
Substitutions are Welcomed
- Smoked cheese gives this pasta a deep, smoky flavor. That said, it’s optional! Feel free to use any type of cheddar, pepper jack, or any hard cheese if you like.
- The heat and smokiness come from the canned chipotle peppers in adobo. I use 2 peppers, along with 1/4 cup of the sauce. If you would like less heat, use 1 pepper or even half a pepper. For a spicier sauce, add as many peppers as you’d like!
- This recipe calls for linguine, but feel free to use whatever pasta you have on hand. Don’t forget to salt the pasta cooking water. I repeat, salt your pasta water. It’s a simple step, but it makes such a big difference.
- To cut down on the prep time, buy those nifty pre-shucked packages of corn from the grocery store. I like using the freshest corn since it’s so tasty when it’s in season, but I’m sure the pre-shucked stuff will still taste amazing.
More Corn Recipes to Try
Spicy Creamed Corn Linguine
The heat of chipotle peppers can vary a lot. If you are more sensitive to heat, use only half a pepper, or use only the adobo sauce from the can and don’t add any actual peppers at all.
1 pound dry linguine
6 ears fresh corn, shucked
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 to 3 chipotle pepper in adobo, roughly chopped, to taste (see recipe note)
1/4 cup adobo sauce from the canned chipotle peppers
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup shredded smoked white cheddar cheese
1/2 tablespoon sugar, optional
1/2 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes, for garnish (optional)
Roughly chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
Cook the linguine:
Bring a large pot (about 4 quarts) of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook linguine according to the package instructions until al dente. Save 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Then drain the pasta in a colander and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, prepare the corn:
In a large bowl, stand the corn vertically and use a small sharp knife to cut downward to remove the kernels off the corn. Using the back of the knife, scrape the cob downward to scrape off any liquid. Discard the cob and set the corn aside.
Cook the shallots and garlic:
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until translucent.
Add the corn:
Stir in the corn (including the liquid you scraped from the cobs) and salt. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the corn becomes tender, scraping the bottom of the skillet often so that it doesn’t burn. Turn the heat off.
Blend the corn:
Scoop out 1 cup cooked corn and set aside. Scrape the remaining into a blender with the adobo peppers, adobo sauce, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Blend on medium-high until somewhat smooth with a little texture, 30 to 45 seconds.
Finish the sauce:
Return the blended corn and reserved whole corn kernels to the skillet. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water to loosen if it thickens too much.
Toss the pasta with the sauce and cheese, then serve:
Add the sauce and cheese to the cooked linguine in the pot. Toss to coat, adding as much of the remaining pasta cooking water as needed to smooth out the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding the optional sugar, if you like. To serve, garnish it with the tomatoes and cilantro, if desired.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing leftovers. The pasta will get mushy.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 26g||33%|
|Saturated Fat 11g||53%|
|Total Carbohydrate 39g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||13%|
|Total Sugars 6g|
|Vitamin C 8mg||38%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|