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


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta just shy of al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
  2. Heat both olive oils in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add scallion whites and all but 2/3 cup of corn, along with 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and cook until soft.
  3. Transfer to a blender and puree mixture until smooth, adding a little extra pasta water as needed to get a thick, but pourable texture.
  4. Wipe out skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add butter and melt. Add the remaining 2/3 cup corn and the garlic. Cook untli the butter just turns brown and the corn has begun to caramelize.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the corn puree. Stir to combine and cook until mixture is heated through. Add the pasta and half of the reserved pasta water, tossing to coat. If it seems too thick, add a little more of the pasta water.
  6. Stir in scallion greens, Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper flakes. Adjust for seasoning. Serve with additional basil and cheese for garnish.