Without further ado...
4 slices bacon (optional)
4c. fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/4t. salt
3/4 t. pepper
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/3 c. pine nuts (I used roasted unsalted sunflower seeds because they're cheaper)
1/3 c. olive oil
1 box whole wheat fettuccine, spaghetti, or the like
3/4 c. fresh basil leaves
(Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 T. of drippings from skillet. Use to fry vegetables.) Heat 1 T. olive oil in large nonstick skillet. Add corn, garlic, salt, and pepper. Saute over medium-high heat until corn is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 c. corn kernels to small bowl and reserve. Scrape remaining corn mixture into processor. Add 1/2 c. basil, parmesan and pine nuts. With machine running, add olive oil through feed tube and blend until pesto is almost smooth. Set aside.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 1/2c. pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add corn pesto and reserved corn kernels. Toss over medium heat until warmed through, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desire consistency. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with remaning basil leaves, crumbled bacon, and parmesan.
My modifications: I omitted the bacon. I boiled the corn cobs, then added all the corn and all the basil to the food processor, along with the salt, garlic, sunflower seeds, and parmesan. Added 1/2c. water to the mixture to thin.
This pesto was delicious. I ate it by the spoonfuls, plain. Amazing. It has a hint of sweetness to it from the corn, but lots of basil-y flavor. Total preparation time (I had a little help in the kitchen shucking corn and getting the water boiling): 30 minutes. It was really really easy. We served the pesto on the side since some wanted plain pasta (they're crazy!). But then the leftover pesto was available to mix into my scrambled eggs the next morning. I want to make pots and pots and pots of this...
(scrambled eggs with pesto and chia seeds, leftover roasted broccoli, white peach)
Another perk: this served 8 adults and we had a lot leftover - it probably makes close to 12 servings. Total cost for basil, pasta, corn, and sunflower seeds, plus 2 bunches of broccoli to roast on the side: $15.40. (This also leaves you with a ton of sunflower seeds to save for next time, and broccoli stalks to chop and freeze for stir-frys!)
Be sure to be here on Monday to vote in the next round of reader recipe poll!