Creamy Corn Pasta with Seared Mushrooms and Chives
This pasta dish is truly restaurant quality and one of my absolute favorite recipes on this site. It’s inspired by a recent meal I enjoyed at Vetri – one of Philadelphia’s best restaurants. To put it simply: they served an impeccable corn ravioli in a buttery sauce with mushrooms and Parmesan. I wanted to find a way to make this at home without having to make homemade ravioli, and this is what I came up with. The result? A cream sauce made of sweet corn, heavy cream and Parmesan tossed in pasta and topped with an exotic blend of mushrooms and a sprinkle of chives.
That pasta you used looks super cool…what if I can’t find that?!
The pasta I used here is actually one of the newest styles of pastas designed by Sfoglini and Dan Pashman – it’s called Cascatelli and it’s honestly THE COOLEST. It’s also very hard to find right now and pricy (like a 9 week wait time?!?!) SO, here are my substitute pasta options. If you can find campanelle (aka gigli pasta,) then that would be the closest to the cascatelli. Other great options are casarecci, garganelle, mafaldine , fusili, or gemelli. You could also use a cheese tortellini or small ravioli.
What mushrooms can I use here?
I’m so fortunate to live in PA, where we have many mushroom farms and a vast selection of local shrooms. I was able to find shiitake, maitake (hen of the woods) and king trumpet mushrooms (which are also known as vegan scallops!) If you want to go all out and find these mushrooms, i highly recommend! If you can’t find these, you can simply go with shiitake and maitake, or just shiitake. I wouldn’t go with anything other than shiitake, because I personally love the savory/meaty texture and flavor they deliver, which compliments the sweet corn pasta sauce.
What if I can’t find chives?
Minced scallions work great here or you can skip all together if you don’t want that savory, aromatic pop of onion-ness. Yep, made up that word.
Can I use frozen sweet corn?
You can absolutely substitute the fresh corn for frozen. I would microwave it to defrost prior to making the cream sauce, just so that any excess water that would thin out the cream can be strained.
What if I want to make this a dinner for two?
You could just go with the recipe below with 1/2 lb pasta and have an extra saucy pasta (or just leftover sauce!) or you could make it and have leftovers. If that doesn’t sound good to you, feel free to adjust below. 🙂
Sauce: 3/4 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels, pinch of Diamond kosher salt
Mushrooms: go for a total of 8 -10 oz. of whatever blend you like
|1 1/4cups sweet corn kernels (if using frozen, defrost and strain excess water out)|
|1 1/2cups heavy cream|
|1/4tsp Diamond kosher salt (if using another brand, a pinch is fine)|
|2-3tbsp olive oil, for pan|
|4oz. shiitake mushrooms|
|4oz. maitake mushrooms|
|8oz. king trumpet mushrooms, sliced vertically into strips and scored - if you can't find king oyster, more shiitake and maitake are fine)|
|1lb. campanelle (or another pasta of your choice)|
|1-2tbsp Kosher salt|
|1/3cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more if needed|
|1bunch chives, finely chopped|
For the sauce (make ahead or right before making pasta)
Heat a large pot or sloped edge skillet over low heat. Add the heavy cream and the sweet corn kernels. Season with 1/4 tsp of Diamond kosher salt (or a pinch of any other kind of salt.) Allow the corn to steep for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid any bubbles.
Pour this heavy cream corn mixture into a blender and blend on high until smooth.
Place a sieve (fine mesh strainer) on top of a large bowl and strain any chunks out of.the corn mixture. After straining, you should have a smooth corn purée without lumps! If storing, place into an air tight container and store for up to 2 days in the fridge.
For the pasta dish:
Fill a large stock pot 3/4 the way with water. Season with kosher salt according to the pasta directions (typically 1-2 tbsp) and bring it to a boil over high heat.
In the meantime, cook the mushrooms. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Season with olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the shiitake and maitake mushrooms in a single layer onto the pan. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. Let them cook undisturbed, about 3 minutes, until golden brown on one side. Flip, then reduce the heat to medium. Let the other side cook for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning. Remove them from the pan once they are a deep golden brown.