Summer Summit

By Angela Denstad Stigeler

From the last trace of frost to the first shoots of green, what wondrous turnings bring us around to the verdant summer days we now enjoy! So beguiling are the warmer months they seem to render that other season utterly improbable, the stuff of vivid dreams. But in fact, our whole growing season has been ramping up to these precious weeks.

When summer flavors hit their peak, it’s time to embrace the garden bounty around us. Keeping cooking times brief and flavors fresh brings good food to its summit. This easy pasta recipe is a wonderful way to elevate summer sweet corn and fresh tomatoes together in one dish. Don’t skimp on the scallions or fresh basil to let this really soar.

Fortunately, we’re just approaching summer’s summit, so we’ll be able to savor the season for all it’s worth.

Pappardelle with Corn and Tomatoes

2 ears sweet corn, shucked

5 tablespoons butter

3 cups grape tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup dry white wine

12 ounces pappardelle, or other wide, flat noodles, such as fettuccine

½ cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Fresh torn basil, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Remove with tongs, reserving the boiling water. Let the corn cool slightly, then cut off the kernels.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon pepper; cook until the tomatoes soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute more. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the corn water until al dente. Reserve one cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Add the chicken broth and corn kernels to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta to the skillet; add the scallions, parmesan, the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to combine, adding the reserved cooking water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Top with more parmesan and basil. Serve hot.

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine.