At the end of every summer, we spend a couple of weeks with my husband's family in Wainscott, on Long Island. I pass most of that time running around to farmstands and eating as many peaches, tomatoes, corn and lobster rolls as possible. A few years ago, on my night to cook, I made a pasta dish with roasted tomatoes and corn. Everyone loved it, and then I forgot about it. I revived it again this year, and, determined not to forget it again, I've decided to write it down. Here.
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The cherry tomatoes from Pike's market in Sagaponack (pictured above and below) are like candy, so I simply douse them with olive oil (and I mean douse, because you want a pool of oil both for the pasta and for leftovers -- it's great in salad dressing) and roast them in a hot oven until they blister and release their juices. I cook the corn briefly in water, and strip off the kernels, and then I cook the pasta in the corn water. Just before sitting down to eat, you mix the three like components of a salad, folding and folding until the tomato juices have glazed the corn and pasta. And at the table, I pass grated Grana Padano cheese, a less expensive relative of parmesan.
Our family dinners are large -- this serves 10 -- and it's a great dish for a big group because you can do the tomatoes and corn in advance so all that's left to do before serving is cook up a big pot of pasta. (Halve the recipe if you like.)
4 cups of the tiniest, sweetest cherry tomatoes you can find
3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 ears corn, shucked
2 pounds penne rigate
Grated Grana Padano or parmesan
1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour the tomatoes onto a roasting pan or baking sheet; they should fit in a single layer. Add the garlic. Pour a generous layer of olive oil over the tomatoes -- the oil should coat the base of the roasting pan. Season with salt. Roast until the tomatoes blister, brown lightly and release their juices, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, discard the garlic, and let cool.
2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the corn, and cook for 3 minutes. Use tongs to remove the corn. Let the corn cool enough to handle. Use a small knife to cut the kernels from the cob, making sure to scrape the juices from the cob, as well. Add the kernels and juices to a large serving bowl.
3. Bring the water back to a rolling boil and add the penne. Cook until al dente, then drain and combine with the corn. Use a slotted spoon to add the roasted tomatoes to the pasta. Using a large regular spoon, add about 1/ 4 cup of the tomato oil to the pasta. Fold the corn, tomatoes and pasta together until well coated with the tomato oil, adding more as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with the cheese passed at the table.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).