from Rachel Ray
Serves 4 as a main dish
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
1 pound dry pasta
6 slices smoky bacon, chopped
6 ears of corn on the cob, shucked
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup half-and-half cream (whole milk or cream works too)
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme leaves
A few dashes of hot sauce or 1-2 pinches of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup torn sweet basil leaves
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium heat. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook to al dente.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook a few minutes until rendered and crisp. Put a small bowl inverted into a large bowl, steady the corn cobs on the smaller bowl and scrape the ears. Add 3/4 of the scraped corn and any corn liquid to the pan with the bacon. Add the shallots and red pepper and liberally season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Add the remaining corn and half-and-half to a food processor and puree until smooth.
4. Pour the stock or wine into the corn and vegetables, and simmer over low heat for a minute to reduce. Stir in the thyme and corn-cream mixture and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken. Add the hot sauce or cayenne and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Drain the pasta and add it to a large serving bowl. Pour in the sauce, add a couple of handfuls of cheese, about 1/2 cup and toss. Top with torn basil and pass the remaining cheese at the table.