Light Summer Pasta with Tomatoes and Corn Recipe
Light Summer Pasta with Tomatoes and Corn

by Diane Rossen Worthington

There is a great deal of controversy over whether pasta is good for us. Surely all those Italians can't be wrong. If you've ever been to Italy, you must have noticed that Italian portions are small compared to those served in America. Therein lies the difference. I say, enjoy your pasta but remember to serve it in moderate portions. If you're someone who favors a healthier option, try whole wheat pasta.

This sauce is based on the classic salsa cruda, a sauce made of chopped raw tomatoes, olive oil and garlic. Fresh raw corn kernels add some sweet summer taste while fresh basil, a signature summer herb, and Italian parsley add tons of flavor with few additional calories. Mozzarella cheese is a must in this recipe. While it does add some calories, it is so delicious that I think it's worth it. The only cooking required is boiling the pasta, which leaves you plenty of time to have fun with your family and friends.

Select fresh cow's milk or buffalo mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella balls come in varying sizes, from tiny perline ("beads" in Italian) to large balls. If you can find fresh perline (sometimes spelled "perlini" on certain brands of mozzarella), use that so you don't have to cut up the mozzarella. Try this easy recipe the next time you are strapped for time or when it is just too hot in the kitchen. The sauce can be prepared 4 hours in advance, covered and left at room temperature. I like to serve this as a first course or as a main course. A pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc would be a lovely accompaniment to the pasta.

Help Tips:

-- Select ripe heirloom, beefsteak or Roma tomatoes

-- Use a serrated peeler to peel the tomatoes

-- Use Parmigiano-Reggiano for best flavor

-- Use a good fruity extra virgin olive oil

-- Make sure to toss the hot pasta with the cold sauce so that the flavors meld together

-- To vary this, add some olives or olive paste (tapenade) to the sauce

Light Summer Pasta with Tomatoes and Corn Recipe

Serves 4 to 6.


2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob

2 pounds ripe Roma, heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch pieces

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped basil

1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

4 medium garlic cloves, minced

1/2 pound fresh Mozzarella cheese, diced into 1/2-inch pieces, or perline size mozzarella balls

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 pound spaghetti or linguini

Extra whole basil leaves, for garnish

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Light Summer Pasta with Tomatoes and Corn Recipe Steps

1. To cut the corn kernels from the cob, hold the husked corn on the vertical on a cutting board and slide a chef's knife down the sides releasing the corn kernels. Transfer the corn to a medium pasta serving bowl.

2. Combine all remaining sauce ingredients in the bowl and mix to combine.

3. Add salt to a large pot of boiling water. Add pasta and cook over high heat until al dente. Drain well. Arrange pasta over sauce and mix to combine. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with basil leaves and pass remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.



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Light Summer Pasta with Tomatoes and Corn Recipe

Summer Pasta Recipe, Italian Pasta Recipe

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