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close-up of fork dipped in corn pasta on grey plate

Corn Pasta

This corn pasta recipe gets its creaminess from pureed corn and addition flavor from fresh herbs and a simple brown butter sauce.
Course Pasta
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 553kcal
Author Ryan Beck


  • 1 lb orecchiette
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and diced small (only use white and light green part)
  • 4-5 large ears corn, shucked and kernels removed (3 ½ cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ lb diced cooked pancetta (optional)


  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta 1 minute short of being al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat 4 tablespoon butter in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add chopped leeks and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add 2 ½ cups of corn and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Deglaze with wine and cook for an additional two minutes.
  • Transfer cooked corn to blender. Add salt and black pepper and blend until smooth.
  • In same skillet, increase heat to medium-high. Add 4 tablespoon butter, 1 cup uncooked corn, chopped thyme and crushed red pepper flakes, cooking until butter is starting to brown and corn is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the corn puree and cook for 30 seconds to get the flavors to combine.
  • Reduce heat and stir in the pasta and half the Parmesan cheese. Stir until everything is combined and then add remaining Parmesan cheese, basil and ¾ cup reserved pasta water. If still too thick, stir in rest of pasta water. Sprinkle with some fresh lemon juice. Serve immediately with some additional herbs and Parmesan cheese. Add some cooked pancetta if using


  • You can replace the leeks with 4 chopped green onions.
  • Use quality dry white wine that you'd be willing to drink. The flavor of the sauce comes from the wine. Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay are best.
  • Cook the pasta until just al dente as the pasta will cook more when tossing in sauce.
  • Use freshly grated Parmesan to finish the sauce. Never buy pre-shredded Parmesan cheese as it contains wood pulp. Blocks of Parmesan cheese are also cheaper.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 553kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 619mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g