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Riccioli Pasta with Caramelized Corn

  • SERVINGS: 4 to 6 first-course servings
  • MAKE-AHEAD

The unusual shape of this pasta was inspired by Barbara Lynch's experience in a small town in Italy, where she watched a chef wrap dough around a large knitting needle; you can also use a thin-handled spoon. You can replace the riccioli with about one pound fresh or three-quarters of a pound dried pappardelle.

Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips

Pasta

  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  3. 5 to 6 large eggs
  4. 1/2 cup cornmeal

Sauce

  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 3 ounces thickly sliced smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  3. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  4. 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  5. 3 cups fresh corn kernels
  6. 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  7. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  8. 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  9. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. 2 large plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  11. 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  12. 1 scallion green, cut lengthwise into very fine julienne
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. With the machine on, add 4 of the eggs, 1 at a time. If the mixture is too dry to gather into a ball, add up to 1 more egg. Process until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Cover with a bowl and let rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time and keeping the rest covered, roll the dough through successively narrower settings of a pasta machine, ending with the narrowest setting. Cut the pasta lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips; lay the long strips on a work surface and cover with kitchen towels. Repeat with the 3 remaining pieces of dough.
  3. Spread the cornmeal on 2 large baking sheets. Working with 1 strip of dough at a time, wind the pasta around a thick knitting needle in a tight spiral. Slide the pasta off the needle onto a prepared baking sheet so that it forms a loose coil. Let the pasta dry for about 1 hour.
  4. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until most of the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add all but 1/3 cup of the corn to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the corn is browned, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and boil, stirring, until reduced by about one-third, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the thyme and season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a nonreactive skillet. Add reserved 1/3 cup corn and sautée over moderate heat until toasted, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes are just soft, about 2 minutes.
  7. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain the pasta, transfer to a bowl and toss with the creamed corn sauce. Garnish with the toasted corn and julienned scallion and serve.
Make Ahead The pasta can be refrigerated uncovered for up to 1 day.

Suggested Pairing

The heavy cream and smoky bacon in this dish require a red for contrast—but one with enough tartness to stand up to the tomatoes. That points to a Chianti.