Summertime Sweet Corn Pasta w Zucchini & Basil

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Adapted from a NY Times Cooking recipe
(2 generous servings)

TIP: Have all ingredients prepped and ready to use. This recipe moves quickly once you get it started.

6 ounces dry campanelle or farfalle pasta (use a shape that will catch the corn kernels)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 bunch scallions (about 8), trimmed and thinly sliced (keep the whites and greens separate)
3 ears sweet corn, raw, shucked and kernels removed from cobs
1 medium zucchini, diced into approx. 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup white wine (or water if you prefer)
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper as required
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
1/2 cup torn or chopped fresh basil leaves; keep about 2 Tbsp for garnish
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or splash of hot sauce (optional)
Fresh lemon juice from 1 small or ½ large lemon

Boil a large pot of salted water to cook pasta just until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup of pasta water, then drain pasta to add to sauce below…

Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat; add slices of scallion whites, salt very lightly and cook, stirring until soft (1-2 minutes). Add all but about 1/3 cup corn kernels and ¼ cup pasta water; simmer until corn is heated through and almost tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a blender, add red pepper flakes or splash of hot sauce (if using) and purée until smooth, adding a little extra water if needed. You want a thick but pourable sauce. This will be added back to the sauté pan in the next step.

Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and let melt. Add reserved 1/3 cup corn, diced zucchini and minced garlic. Sauté about 1 to 2 minutes. Add white wine if using, simmer for 1 minute, then stir in the corn purée sauce and cook for 30 seconds to heat and combine the flavors.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add cooked & drained pasta plus half the remaining pasta water to the sweet corn sauce, tossing to coat. Cook for 1 minute, then add a little more of the pasta water if the mixture seems too thick. Stir in most of the scallion greens (reserve a few for garnish), the grated cheese and the basil. Toss with the fresh lemon juice to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, the remaining scallion greens and fresh black pepper to taste.

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