Author's Notes: A perfect midsummer pasta, full of fresh basil and corn. This "creamy" pasta is actually free of milk or cream- we use fresh corn and reserved pasta water to create a sauce that is as satisfying and rich as any cream sauce, but is light enough to eat on a hot summer's day. (Inspired by NY Times Melissa Clark)

Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil Print Recipe


  • 1 lb penne pasta, or other small shape
  • 1 Tbsp LeRoux Basil Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp  LeRoux Garlic Olive Oil
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced, whites & greens divided
  • 3-4 large ears of corn, kernels removed (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmagiano Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, cut in a chiffonade
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes


    For the Streusel:
  1. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, process flour, granulated sugar, ¼ cup dark brown sugar and cinnamon until combined.
  2. Remove 1 ¼ cups of mixture to a small bowl, stir in remaining ¼ cup brown sugar and set aside for streusel filling.
  3. Add butter and pecans to mixture in food processor and pulse until nuts and butter resemble small pebbles.
  4. Set aside to use for streusel topping.
  5. For the Cake:
  6. Preheat oven to 350˚F, and adjust oven rack to lowest position.
  7. Grease a tube or angel food cake pan, (preferably one with removable bottom), using softened butter.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, 1 cup sour cream and vanilla until combined.
  9. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix on low for 30 seconds, just to blend ingredients.
  10. Add softened butter and remaining ½ cup of sour cream; mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened and mixture resembles wet sand. Add bowl of whisked eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
  11. Increase mixer to medium speed and beat until batter comes together, scraping down the bowl if necessary. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until batter is light and fluffy (about 1 minute).
  12. Spread about 2 cups of batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface.
  13. Sprinkle evenly with half of the streusel mixture that does not contain butter or nuts. Repeat with another 2 cups of batter and the remaining streusel without butter or nuts.
  14. Spread the remaining batter then sprinkle with the streusel topping that contains the butter and nuts.
  15. Bake 50 – 60 minutes, until the cake feels firm to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean (bits of sugar from the streusel may stick to the tester).
  16. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, run a knife around the outside of the cake to loosen it from the pan, then remove the ring from the cake.
  17. Allow to cool an additional 30 minutes, before removing the bottom and placing on a serving platter.