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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Corn, Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad

I served this as a side dish for my lovely ladies who came to a rainy patio lunch. This is a fresh-tasting light pasta salad with really good flavors. It's not your typical "italian dressing" kind you'd find at any given picnic or family gathering. I really liked it. The only things I did different was that I didn't buy enough leeks so I added some regular onion and I used crumbled goat cheese because I didn't know what the heck Ricotta Salata cheese is. I also added more olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice to taste, which really made a big difference. I especially loved the red pepper (I used ground instead of flakes) with the corn - it really added just a little zing, yum!!

Corn, Tomato, Basil Pasta
As found on

Serves 6 to 8

1 pound medium shell pasta
Coarse salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 small leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise, and well washed (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 1/2 cups corn kernels (4 to 5 ears) (I used frozen corn.. the whole bag)
Freshly ground pepper (use lots)
1 large pinch red-pepper flakes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (or grape tomatoes) (I used strawberry tomatoes)
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 ounces ricotta salata cheese, crumbled or shaved (I used goat cheese which was DELISH)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and a generous amount of salt. Cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain, and run under cold water to cool. Drain well; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook until translucent, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add corn. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until color is set, and the corn is heated through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from heat; let stand until cool.

In a large bowl, combine pasta, corn mixture, tomatoes, basil, parsley, lemon juice, and cheese. Toss to combine. Taste, and adjust for seasoning (extra lemon juice, salt, and pepper).

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