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
Creamy Corn Pasta with Seared Mushrooms and Chives
- 1 1/4 cups sweet corn kernels cut off the cob - if using frozen, defrost and strain excess water out
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp Diamond kosher salt if using sea salt or another brand of kosher salt, a pinch is fine
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil for pan
- 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms
- 4 oz. maitake mushrooms
- 8 oz. king trumpet mushrooms sliced vertically into strips and scored (if you cannot find king trumpet mushrooms, just use 8 oz. of both shiitake and maitake mushrooms)
- 1 lb. campanelle or another pasta of your choice (see suggestions in the blog post)
- 1-2 tbsp Kosher salt for seasoning pasta water
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus more to taste, if needed
- 1 bunch chives finely chopped
For the sauce (make ahead, or right before making the 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.
- If using king trumpet mushrooms, season the pan with a little more olive oil and adjust the heat back to medium high. Place the king trumpet mushrooms into the pan in a single layer and season with a pinch of salt. Sear, undisturbed, for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Flip, then sear until golden brown on the other side. Remove from the pan and turn off the heat. Leave all of the golden brown bits in the pan!
- Return to the boiling stock pot of water. Cook the pasta until al dente (according to box instructions,) or 1-2 minutes before al dente if you like your pasta on the firmer side.
- Once the pasta is done, remove 1/3 cup of pasta water from the stock pot and use it to deglaze the golden brown bits off of the skillet. Add the corn purée to the skillet with the pasta water and stir with a rubber spatula or spoon until a sauce is combined. Transfer the pasta over to the sauce and toss until fully coated. Grate Parmesan cheese on top then toss the pasta again.
- Plate the pasta and top with mushrooms and chopped chives. Enjoy!