Fettuccini with Sweet Corn Pesto and Pancetta


Living abroad in theMiddle Easthas taken us on many adventures.  From the cultural to the culinary, we have had so many amazing experiences thus far.  While it is fun to try new foods, discover new ingredients and learn different cooking techniques; sometimes I still crave the familiar.  I miss this time of year inFlorida(orVirginia, or D.C. orMinnesota-all the other places I’ve lived) when sweet corn is in abundance at every grocery store.  I miss going to the grocery store and seeing the huge bins of corn, peeling back the husks to check the cob, and walking out with pounds of super sweet, super fresh corn for pennies on the dollar. 

My nostalgia took over last week when I walked into the grocery store to buy some bread and milk and saw none other then fresh sweet corn from the good ‘ol U.S.A. While there was no large bin, the husks were already removed and the price was staggeringly expensive, I just had to buy it. 

I’ve had this recipe for some time, but it really works best with super fresh and sweet corn; and with my new found prize, I could finally give it a try.  The flavors are subtle, but the corn really shines through.  This was the perfect summer pasta: light, fresh, and quick to pull together.  And because it makes a good amount of pesto, it was perfect to put the extras into a freezer-safe container for the next time a craving for home hits.




Fettuccini with Fresh Corn Pesto and Pancetta
  • 1/4 cup pancetta, diced into cubes
  • About 4 cups of fresh, sweet corn kernels (from about 5 ears of corn)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for the pasta water
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 lb fettuccini noodles
  • Chopped parsley to garnish
  1. Cook pancetta over medium heat in a large skillet until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
  2. In the pancetta drippings, sauté the corn and the garlic. Add the balsamic and cook 3-5 minutes, or until the corn is cooked through, but still crisp.
  3. Place 1 cup of the cooked corn kernels aside and add the remaining corn to a food processor.
  4. Add the pine nuts and parmesan cheese to the processor. Puree for 1 minute. Slowly pour the olive oil in while processing until a thick paste forms, about 3 minutes.
  5. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccini and cook5-7 minutes, or until al dente.
  6. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta. Add 1/2 the pesto to the pasta and toss. Add cooking water 1/4 cup at a time to thin the sauce until it reaches its desired consistency. Add more pesto if needed.
  7. Toss the pasta with the reserved corn kernels and pancetta.
  8. Top with parsley and serve immediately.

Pesto can be prepaired and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.


Recipe adapted from Tagliatelle with Fresh Corn Pesto on Epicurious.com


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Ramona - Gorgeous photos…and food styling. :) Corn…. I can imagine it must have been really nice to see it there! Lovely recipe….I would need a bigger bowl. LOL! :)

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts - I made something similar to this last summer, and it was delicious! Yours sounds great, and the pictures look amazing!

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. - Yum! I’m loving corn right now too! Glad you were able to find some! This looks delish!

Kelly @ Inspired Edibles - Gorgeous, gorgeous (gorgeous!) photos. Did you take them outside? The light is fab.u.loso as is your styling. And even the way you’ve arranged your pasta and the contents just so… it looks like a hairdo! :). Simple perfection.

Nami | Just One Cookbook - Yes indeed, this looks like a perfect summer pasta! My kids and we all love corn and this sounds extremely delicious!

Meghan - This looks like a wonderful summer dish! Glad you were able to find some corn! Lovely photos too :)

Maggie @ Kitchie Coo - This looks absolutely fab! There is nothing in the world like fresh corn on the cob. I grew up in MN, and this was in abundance where we lived. Where did you live in MN? Just curious! This is such a great summer dish, nice job!

megan @ whatmegansmaking - This looks perfect for summer, and your pictures are beautiful!!

alyssa - Lol, I may have had 4 of these bowls :)

alyssa - Thanks, Erin!

alyssa - I always love corn, but I have gotten used to canned or frozen. This was such a great break though!

alyssa - Thanks, Kelly. Yes, I shot these outside, in the shade. It was hard though to swat the flies away between shots :)

alyssa - I grew up in Minneapolis, so I know how much corn can be around!

alyssa - Thanks!

30 Days of Food Inspiration – Day 28 « Eat.Drink.Life.Love. - [...] love summer sweet corn. Last night we made pasta with fresh corn pesto and bacon (recipe inspiration found here) with a simple side salad. It was sweet, creamy and lovely — and without a drop of sugar or [...]

Eiji - Erika! This looks delicious. I also make my own pesto, and I love it. (Good way to use up all the basil I have grwonig out back.) Bonus, you can take photos of this dish all night long, because it’s served at room temp!!!! ;-) [K]

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