Spaghetti with Corn Carbonara and Crab

Chef Tim Maslow amps up spaghetti with a creamy yet creamless fresh corn sauce, porky guanciale and sweet crab. Slideshow: More Pasta Recipes 

Spaghetti with Corn Carbonara and Crab
Photo: © John Kernick
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 7 ears of corn, shucked

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 pound guanciale, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 2 medium shallots, minced

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus finely grated zest, for garnish

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat

  • Extra-virgin olive oil and shichimi togarashi, for serving


  1. On a work surface, cut the corn kernels off of the cobs; using the sharp side of the knife, scrape the pulp off the cobs. You should have 4 cups of kernels and pulp. Transfer the kernels and pulp to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids.

  2. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

  3. Wipe out the saucepan and melt the butter in it. Add the guanciale and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered, about 7 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the spaghetti, strained corn puree, 1 1/4 cups of the pasta cooking water and the lemon juice. Cook over moderate heat, tossing, until the sauce is thickened and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes; add more of the cooking water if necessary. Season the pasta with salt and pepper and very gently fold in the crab. Transfer to shallow bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with lemon zest and shichimi togarashi and serve right away.

Make Ahead

The strained corn puree can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Serve this pasta dish with a tangy Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

Related Articles