Spaghetti with Creamy Corn and Ham

Here's a great way to celebrate the abundance of summer corn. If you can't get good fresh corn, though, use three cups of frozen kernels, thawed, and put them directly into the food processor with the cream. Since frozen corn is parboiled, the heat of the pasta is enough to finish cooking it.

  • Servings: 4


  • 4 large ears corn, husks and silk removed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 1/4 pound sliced, smoked ham, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ears of corn until just done, about 3 minutes. Remove the corn from the pot and save the hot water to cook the spaghetti. When the ears of corn are cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob. You should have about 3 cups of kernels.

  2. Put the corn in a food processor with the cream, parsley, salt, and pepper. Pulse three or four times to chop the corn to a coarse puree.

  3. Return the water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until just done, about 12 minutes. Reserve about 3/4 cup of the pasta water. Drain the spaghetti and toss with 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water, the corn mixture, the ham, and the butter. If the sauce seems too thick, add more of the reserved pasta water.


Test-Kitchen Tip To cut the kernels from an ear of corn, break the ear in half with your hands, or cut it with a knife. Stand each half on end on a cutting board and, using a large knife, cut straight down the sides to remove the kernels. It's easier to cut the kernels off cooked corn than raw because the juice splatters less.

Suggested Pairing

For this all-American dish, you might want to try an American white wine from a lesser known, East Coast region. Look for a fairly acidic Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc from Virginia, the Finger Lakes region of New York, or even Rhode Island.

Photo © Addie Juell Published July 2013

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