Recipe: Creamy Corn Pasta with Zucchini & Basil

Recipe: Creamy Corn Pasta with Zucchini & Basil

  • posted on: July 12, 2020
  • posted by: Kari Fetrow
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It’s no secret how much I admire corn, see my last post praising pozole and hominy, I even called myself a corn-nut (this is where you roll your eyes). In case you weren’t sure this is Kari inviting you into my kitchen with a fantastic pasta recipe based on Melissa Clark’s Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil. One of the things I love about Melissa Clark recipes is that they are great starting points and they always seem to inspire me with new ideas and flavors, if you haven’t checked her out, I suggest you give her a quick Google search. 

Enough about my love for Melissa Clark. This recipe was easy, something new that I’ve never tried before, and oh so tasty–the corn, the lemon, the basil. I added more veg and a protein to the original recipe so that I didn’t have to do too much cooking, I highly value a well thought out one pot meal. If you love corn as much as me, you have to try this. I promise you will not regret it. 

Creamy Corn Parpardelle with Basil & Zucchini
adapted from: Melissa Clark’s Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil
serves 2 adults (generously)

3 ears of corn, kernels removed and divided,  or 2 c. frozen, divided
1 small shallot, diced
4 scallions, whites and greens separated
1 large zucchini, ribboned or spiralized (to ribbon I use a mandolin)
4 tbsp Cherry Valley Dairy butter (Grey Salt flavor recommended)
2 tbsp basil, sliced thin into a chiffonade (I used basil that I had frozen from last summer)
1 pkg Bellingham Pasta Co.’s Parpardelle or pasta of your choice (I will add though that if you choose to do zucchini ribbons they texturally work perfect with the parpardelle ribbons)
1 dozen shrimp, tails removed (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 of the juice of 1 lemon + more to taste
1/3 cup of water
1 cup pasta water
Sunflower oil, just to coat pan 3x
Salt + Pepper

Begin by making the creamy corn sauce. Heat a large skillet over medium-medium high heat. Add a splash of oil and the scallion whites, diced shallot, salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook for 3 min, do not brown. Add about 1 1/2 cups of the corn to the pan and the water. Cook for another 3 minutes until the corn begins to soften. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender. Blend until almost smooth. Set aside. 

Begin the water for the pasta, make sure to generously salt the water. Heat the skillet again on medium high and add another splash of oil. Sprinkle the shrimp with the garlic and onion powder, and some salt and pepper. Sear quickly about 1 min to 1 min and 30 seconds on each side and then set aside. Turn the skillet heat down to medium, add a splash of oil and quickly saute the zucchini, about 2-3 minutes, set aside. While doing this cook the pasta. 

Now add the butter and begin to brown it, about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the corn, saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the zucchini, shrimp, and the creamy corn sauce, heat thoroughly about 2 minutes. Add the pasta and the pasta water. Toss to coat, then add the basil and squeeze the lemon over the pasta. Toss once more and serve. 

Kari’s Quick Notes
This dish would be very easy to make vegetarian or vegan. Since I am dairy-free I made the brown butter corn sauce with a cultured cashew butter that I love made locally. If you ever need tips on how to adapt a recipe to your needs please feel free to email me: and I’ll do my best to help you out!