Editors' Picks

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes and Corn

September  2, 2009

- Amanda

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.

Shop the Story

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.)

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes and Corn

Serves 10.

  • 4 cups of the tiniest, sweetest cherry tomatoes you can find
  • 3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 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.

Cherry Tomatoes




Order now

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).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Victoria Carr
    Victoria Carr
  • luvcookbooks
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
  • blim8183
  • Kelsey Banfield
    Kelsey Banfield
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Victoria C. August 15, 2010
I spend my weekends in upstate New York. In August lunch is always ripe tomatoes plucked from the garden, slathered with a mayo and vinegar dressing, and corn grown by farmer Larry Eckhardt on Kinderhook Creek Farm. It's THE BEST. So sweet and delicious, you don't need anything but salt and pepper.

Last night I had one ear left over so I made pasta alfredo with the kernels from that one ear added to the cream, butter, and parmesan cheese. I used a new implement for the first time - a small hand-held corn kernel stripper made by Kuhn Rikon. I got mine at Zabar's. While I am not a big fan of implements that do only one thing, and I have always stripped corn successfully with my 8-inch chef's knife, this thing worked like a dream.

Now I have another use for it - this recipe for next Saturday's dinner.
Amanda H. August 23, 2010
Thanks for the tip -- will look for that tool next time I'm at Zabar's.
luvcookbooks October 20, 2009
Had corn to cook yesterday and vaguely remembered reading this recipe, but too much in a hurry to look it up. Took the corn off the cob, sauteed red onion and orange pepper in olive oil with fresh thyme from the garden, added the corn (6 ears worth) and fresh chives, poured it over butterfly pasta and had dinner for 4 from Food 52. (at least it was the inspiration, tho I see I strayed from the original)
Amanda H. August 23, 2010
Sounds like delicious straying.
Merrill S. September 5, 2009
I'm so jealous I wasn't around to taste this! Sounds amazing.
blim8183 September 5, 2009
Yum, this sounds fantastic.
Kelsey B. September 4, 2009
I just picked up tiny tomatoes at the farmer's market today, along with fresh corn. Hurray, now I have a whole new recipe for the weekend!
lastnightsdinner September 3, 2009
This sounds like a perfect late summer dish. My Super Sweet 100s didn't make it this year, but I'll find something similar at the farmers' market and try this for sure!
Amanda H. September 3, 2009
I realized this afternoon that I actually had written this recipe down a few years ago, but I cooked the tomatoes differently. I halved them and sprinkled them with breadcrumbs and cheese before roasting them. I think the version I posted is better.
lastnightsdinner September 3, 2009
I love the idea of the tomato juices forming a glaze on everything.
drbabs September 26, 2009
My family (16 of us) shares a house on the Florida Panhandle in July, and this would be perfect for the last night when we can't really figure out what to eat (This year it was icky pizza.) and don't want to have a lot of leftovers since we live all over the country. Thanks!