Cheesy Sweet Corn, Basil + Cherry Tomato Pasta

Welcome back to QCK!

Happy Mother’s Day to every mom and mom figure out there, we love you! I’m not with my mom today, social distancing is still a thing, but I’m celebrating her by making one of her best recipes and sharing it with you.

This is a warm pasta salad, it can totally be cold if you’re into that, but I like it warm. It’s full of melty mozzarella, tangy cherry tomatoes, sweet corn and basil. All sautéd in garlic, onion and butter. It’s beyond delicious and super fresh and light.

I love this dish for summer because of all the fresh ingredients. It’s the perfect side dish for your backyard BBQ, along with my mom’s Strawberry Balsamic Green Bean Salad. But I also love it just on it’s own for an easy weeknight dinner that makes an even more flavorful lunch tomorrow… and the next day. I always make a huge batch of this because the leftovers are so good. And the best part? It’s a one pot recipe!

But it’s also a great pantry recipe. If I can’t get the ingredients fresh and in season, I’ll use frozen corn, sun dried tomatoes, and some pesto instead. It’s not the exact same, but it’s equally as delicious and it works for quarantine!

Substitutions and Add On’s

  • Fresh Sweet Corn can be swapped with frozen corn, you don’t have to thaw it or anything, just dump it right in.
  • Basil can be substituted for pre-made pesto.
  • Cherry Tomatoes can be substituted for canned diced tomatoes that have been drained or sun dried tomatoes, also drained.
  • Fresh Garlic and Onion can be substituted for garlic and onion powder, but I strongly urge you to use the real stuff.
  • Mozzarella can be substituted for any melting cheese you like. Cheddar is an easy choice, brie or provolone would be delicious.
  • If you don’t like tomato, you can omit it and replace it with red bell pepper.
  • If you don’t like cherry tomato, substitute it for red pepper.
  • Avocado is a great add on, especially if you’re eating it cold. Just add it off the heat, right before serving.
  • Other Add On’s: red pepper, zucchini mushroom, peas, asperagus, and pine nuts.
  • For Vegan Freindly, use egg free pasta, substitue butter for olive oil, and omit cheese or use your favorite plant based cheese.

Tips and Tricks

  • Make a big batch, even if it’s just for you. This pasta is so good you’ll probably want more than you realize. Plus it’s even better the second and third day. You’ll want leftovers, promise.
  • At the end of cooking, once you’ve added in the mozzarella, cover the pan and let it sit for 5 minutes. This gives the flavors time to really come together. Also in this time the mozzarella will fully melt and the cherry tomatoes will really burst.
  • Use as many fresh ingredients as you can, even better if it’s from your own garden. The fresher your produce the better the flavor. This is a geat mid to late summer farmers market dinner.

Recipe

Prep: 10 MinCook: 20 MinDifficulty: EasyServings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb short pasta, rotini or bow ties work best
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 Ears of Sweet Corn, cut off the cob, or one (10 oz) bag frozen corn
  • 1 (10 oz) Package Cherry Tomato, cut in half
  • 4-5 Fresh Basil Leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 oz) Package Fresh Mozzarella, pearls or diced
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package, strain and set aside.
  2. In a large, deep pan, over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil together.
  3. Add onion and garlic, cook until onion is translucent and garlic is aromatic.
  4. Add sweet corn and tomatoes, at this step if you’re adding any other vegetables add them as well.
  5. Cook until corn is bright yellow and cherry tomatoes begin to break down and “burst”.
  6. Add the cooked pasta into the pan and mix until well combined.
  7. Add mozzarella and stir.
  8. Turn heat off and cover for 5 minutes, then stir. Mozzarella should be fully melted.
  9. Add fresh basil and stir.
  10. Serve warm or chilled.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you tried it out let me know in the comments. For more recipes check out my homepage and follow along on Instagram. Don’t forget to like, follow, comment and share. Thanks for reading! 

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