This weekend my brother moved into his first real New York (i.e. Manhattan) apartment.

I helped.


First, I tested his bed’s napping potential.

Two thumbs up.


Then, I evaluated his electrical outlets for their cell phone charging abilities.

Yeah.  They work.


And finally, I looked over the the schedule for the week-long job orientation he was going to have to attend.  And vomited a little every time it said the phrase “working lunch”.

He kicked me out approximately two hours later.

I can’t for the life of me understand why.

I felt a little bit under-appreciated.  So I went home and made myself some pity pasta.

Sweet creamy corn pesto made delectably smoky with the addition of tempeh bacon (or regular bacon for those of you omnivores out there).  It’s basically summer in a bowl.

Highly recommended after a day of strenuous activity.  Or of napping unapologetically in someone else’s bed.  No judgment.


Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto
Serves 4, adapted from Bon Appetit August 2010


  • 4 slices tempeh bacon (or regular bacon if not vegetarian), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from six large ears)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb summer squash, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 3/4 cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves, divided


  1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Cook tempeh bacon until crisp and brown, stirring often.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. Add corn, garlic, salt, and black pepper to the skillet.  Saute over medium-high heat until corn is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes.  Transfer 1 1/2 cups corn to a small bowl and reserve.  Scrape the remaining corn mixture into a food processor.  Add 1/2 cup parmesan and pine nuts to the processor bowl.  blend until pesto is almost smooth.
  3. Add summer squash to the pan that the corn was cooked in.  Saute until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes.
  4. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm, stirring occasionally.  Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid.  Return pasta to the pot.  Add corn pesto, reserved corn, reserved bacon, summer squash and 1/2 cup basil leaves.  Toss pasta over medium heat until warmed through, adding reserved pasta water by the 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency, 2-3 minutes.  Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve, sprinkled with remaining basil leaves.

I am submitting this to Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya of My Sweet and Savory as well as Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Jennifer of For Such a Time As This.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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111 Responses to Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto

  1. I wonder how you would have reacted if it said working dinner?

  2. Candace says:

    Corn pesto? Brilliant!

  3. corn pesto! Now that is a new idea to me but so brilliant! The sweetness of the corn against the oil and pasta! Yummy

  4. Big Dude says:

    Great looking dish Joanne especially with the addition of the squash.

  5. Lora says:

    You are so funny. The perfect pesky sister. I love this summer gorgeousness. Wow!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Corn pesto? Slightly mind-blowing. Also, I kind of want to just eat the corn mixture out of the food processor.

  7. newlywed says:

    Looks incredible — must have been a great combination of flavors with the smoky bacon. Stupid question, but how is it that all of your corn is there in the bowl, and not on the kitchen floor, which is what happens in my life?

  8. Johanna GGG says:

    what a great summer pasta dish – I have questions – did you make your own tempeh bacon (and did it crisp up – mine never does) Also I am curious why you were sickened by working lunches – have you too had those horrid soggy salad sandwiches – or were you envious because he had swanky working lunches?

  9. Pam says:

    Tempeh bacon – there is such a thing?

  10. I’ve never seen that shaped pasta. It looks intriguing. I’ll stick with regular bacon and totally make this!

    Is Pity Pasta kinda like Make Up Sex? It’s just always better!

  11. Danielle says:

    ooh – I need to try this one!

  12. Faith says:

    Congrats to your brother on his first place…and lol, this is the best looking pity pasta I’ve ever seen! Corn pesto sounds killer!

  13. Corn pesto pasta is something I would like to have for lunch today. I love love the idea of making corn into a pesto… Genius!
    Congratulations on your brother’s new apartment. I can’t wait for another pity dish the next time you visit him and kicks you out LOL!

  14. Dawn says:

    I love this idea of the corn pesto combo with the tempeh bacon. I must seek out this tempeh bacon.

  15. This looks delicious, Joanne. I like all the flavors.

  16. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, Sounds like imagination with all cylinders working. I love to take a recipe like pesto and improvise. Bravo!! Bet it was delish!! Blessings for a beautiful day! Catherine xoxo

  17. You are a caring and helpful sister! Corn Pesto looks so creamy and divine!

  18. I just wrote about my summer corn obsession! Looks like I’m going to have to add another one to the list… 🙂


  19. Sarah S. says:

    Ooh, this is the recipe which inspired my vegan version last year. Thanks for reminding me of it, officially adding it to the menu for later this week!

  20. Lizzy says:

    I was just going to write that between yours and Sues recipe, I finally have something to do with all the corn I’m getting from my CSA. I cannot wait to make this!!! Thank you my love!

  21. corn pesto..really your my new hero!! awesome and with a pop of chipotle..ahh dinner idea!!

  22. I’m glad that you verified the napping potential of his bed. That should be a requisite test upon moving into any apartment at any time. And that corn pasta–summer comfort food, baby!

  23. I see you are as good of a sister to your brother as I am. I also like to make sure my brother’s food isn’t stale. Of course, when you have the ingredients for something as delicious looking as this waiting for you at home, I can see why you wouldn’t need to do that. This recipe is genius.

  24. Nicole, RD says:

    Corn + pasta = carb HEAVEN. I’m lovin’ it! I have Summer Sweet Corn Fettucine posted today – great minds think alike!

  25. Hannah says:

    Corn pesto!! My mind is exploding with inspiration right now. This is pure brilliance and deliciousness, as you always manage to combine with every recipe. I’m writing corn on the grocery list this minute, and with any lucky, plan on eating this tonight, using a vegan parmesan sub.

  26. Uh, I think I need some pity pasta! Yummy!

    Camila Faria

  27. kickpleat says:

    Haha, i love this pity pasta. And I love corn. Win win!

  28. Looks amazing with the little corn! Your brother is definitely going to be eating well while living in NY!

  29. This looks amazing! Congrats to your brother on his new apartment:-)

  30. Patsyk says:

    I love the use of the fresh corn in this dish! I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy it while it’s still in peak season!

  31. brocstar says:

    Corn + Pesto? I’m sold.

  32. I just had a dish very similar to this from the most recent issue of everyday living. instead of squash, it had jalapenos and it was sooo good! Love using corn as a sauce like that!

    I’ve never seen pasta that shape. It reminds me of little spines. haha

  33. What a great way to use yummy summer corn. I will have to try this. I think my girls (who LOVE corn) will love it!

  34. Mary says:

    I love the play of textures in this dish. I’ll wager it is also drop dead delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  35. Nicole says:

    i love naps!! And corn pesto – oh yeah! mmmm!

  36. Megan says:

    This sounds sooo good! I think that pasta shape is perfect for the dish too. Pity pasta sounds much better than manual moving labor!

  37. Mo 'Betta says:

    pasta, bacon, cheese, basil…holla! Makes veggies very tolerable 😉 I posted abt my experience making the Cherry Cornmeal Upside Down Cake you blogged abt not too long ago. Next time, maybe you could just send me one!

  38. nico. says:

    wow, I have been thinking about a pesto dressed corn salad, but this is awesome too!

  39. Cam says:

    looks like a bowl of sunshine to me! I love anything with fresh corn. In other news, your brother should be grateful for your services. 🙂

  40. What perfect comfort food after being so unceremoniously evicted by your loving brother. 😉

  41. Rachel says:

    I’ll accept this invitation to eat corn and pasta in the same dish. This pasta should never be associated with pity. I’m jealous of your pity pasta!

  42. Juliana says:

    Joanne, this pasta looks fabulous, love the idea of corn, bacon and cheese. I think your brother has a high tolerance level 🙂
    Hope you have a great week ahead!

  43. peachie says:

    Corn pesto is such a great idea!!

  44. Deborah says:

    So this just happens to fit in perfectly with my blog this week! Love this idea of corn pesto!!!

  45. Corina says:

    I love different pestos but have never thought to make a corn one. Great idea!

  46. I make a lot of pesto, and I’d thought I’d made pesto from just about everything. But, I’ve never made corn pesto! Looks fantastic.

  47. Amy says:

    Subbing bacon should be illegal. Looooove you. I am so making this…and printing. P.s. Your brother is lucky to have you in his life. He just won’t appreciate it until he has kids and needs a babysitter 😉

  48. Foodycat says:

    The corn pesto looks delicious! What a great idea.

  49. So intrigued by the corn pesto! Going to have to try this!

  50. Shannon says:

    made this last year and loved it, yours looks fantastic and makes me wish i had a bowl right now! instead i’m going to continue course and make tomato corn pie for dinner tonight…

  51. Kelly says:

    Tempeh bacon. I suspect that’s a healthier version than some of those more common processed fake meats (provided they are not tampering with the soy). I love pasta. And I agree, it’s a great pity meal – nothing like pasta to flood the brain with serotonin 🙂 This looks great Joanne, I hope your brother enjoys his new pad.

  52. Shannon says:

    ugh! I wish I had looked at this before starting quinoa… this looks amazing! Corn pesto is just brilliant.

    Working lunches make me laugh too. I enjoy a true working lunch every single day… I scarf down my salad while simultaneously doing work, at my desk.

  53. daphne says:

    Joanne- this is MY kind of recipe!! seriously! I love it. Am going to try it out for one of our meals for sure.

  54. You were being such a great sister? No idea why he kicked you out? lol. Love the pasta 🙂

  55. Katie says:

    I’m a total sucker for pasta shapes, and those are too cool!

  56. You are a wonderful sister. It’s not everyone who would do all the things you did for your brother!
    This recipe looks perfect. Corn pesto is brilliant.

  57. Reeni says:

    I made this corn pesto before and it is utterly delicious! I know who to call when I move – I’ll make you the official kitchen tester!

  58. This looks so good and just shouts Summer!!

  59. Hasn’t the corn been phenomenal? Truly… it’s just been so super sweet. Love this recipe, my friend!

  60. Yes, yes please. This sounds phenomenal. I love corn. In fact now I’m tempted to eat an entire tube of polenta, because I happen to have some. Mmmm, corn.

  61. That combo sounds amazing. I thought I read that issue but don’t remember seeing this one.

    Great photos again!

  62. Julie says:

    i made this last summer, it’s a delicious take on pesto!! Yours looks beautiful

  63. polwig says:

    Looks beautiful. I would worry about making comments about working lunch to your bro or else he will expect you to bring him lunch every day, or dinner. BTW what kind of pasta is that? Never seen a shape like this.

  64. Swathi says:

    Pasta with corn kernel looks delicious.

  65. OohLookBel says:

    That dish looks so summery and delicious. I wish someone would serve that type of salad in my ‘working lunches’: if I see another shrivelled antipasto sandwich, I’ll scream =D

  66. Pam says:

    It looks like a bit of summer in a bowl. YUM!

  67. Gopika Ram says:

    Looks amazing.. i love the combination. 😀

  68. Ha ha !!
    And coollll and bro’s in NY too so we’ll hear a bit more abt him around here (oh yeah i know hw he loves to be written about around here)

    All the pesto’s u come up with here (zuchini me lvd) are fantastic!

    Am reading ur prev post and wanna tell ya , everytime i hear the word marathon even 100mtrs around me (ok not really 100), i say hay , my pal runs them all in NYC , and i cheer for her from here , she’s my pal and a rockstar!

  69. I have yet to try tempeh bacon–it scares me a little. 😉 This does look fabulous with the creamy corn and pasta mix.

  70. This pasta looks so healthy and delicious and corn is one of my faves too. Thanks for sharing the recipe and wonderful photos!

  71. Ruth Daniels says:

    If that’s “pity pasta”, I plan on feeling sorry for myself for the rest of my life 😉 Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  72. debbie says:

    This looks delicious Joanne! I have never heard of corn pesto and I love fresh corn. Congrats to your brother!

  73. Girl, where is your cookbook? I mean seriously! Corn Pesto? This creamy sauce looks bright, sunny & fabulous!

  74. Viv says:

    gee im glad you’re not my sister. lol. jk..hmmm. 😛
    first time ive seen corn being made into a pesto! yummm! if you were my sister id be over every single night!

  75. That looks sooooo good! Absolutly have to try it!

  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. Man, if that doesn’t look like summer in a bowl right there.

  78. That Girl says:

    you are SUCH a helpful sister!

  79. Brothers can be such touchy creatures cant’t they…
    This is such a lovely pasta dish 🙂

  80. girlichef says:

    I bet my brother would love to have you come over to help him move 😉 Hmmm…and I could do with a sister-in-law…who brings me corn pesto…

  81. Victoria says:

    This really does look super summery! Corn is one of my favorite summer veggies 🙂 I love your “working lunch” comment, haha. Double barf.

  82. Julie says:

    so deej was just wondering what we should do with all of the corn that she cooked that noone is going to eat haha i thiiiink i’m going to show her this recipe! plus this is amazing to bring to a bbq totes 🙂

  83. tigerfish says:

    I like your spin on pesto using fresh corn! Yum!

  84. Carolyn Jung says:

    I think that past looks way too good for any pity party. LOL I think it would put a smile on anyone’s face, actually. 😉

  85. Lori says:

    I completely understand your reaction to the working lunch. It can be translated as no break. You were definitely underappreciated. Corn pesto? This is great!

  86. Janine says:

    This looks absolutely awesome when I’m just bemoaning the lack of basil to make a basil pesto. Now I can make a corn pesto which sounds awesome!

  87. I never would have thought of corn and pasta together. What a perfect summer carb delight1

  88. I’m in love with Bon Appetit!
    This looks scrummy, Joanne! There is absolutely nothing better than fresh summer corn. Fabulous post!


  89. Sara says:

    Love this! What a great idea to make pesto with corn, it looks really delicious. 🙂

  90. Ooooooh, I’ve never tried corn as a pesto before! If we get any in our CSA this week I’m definitely going to try this!

  91. Claudie says:

    One thing I really love about your recipes is how you manage to “inject” colors into any dish. Pasta can look so pale and simple at times (I’m not talking about the pasta full of tomato sauce lol), but you’ve made yours so pretty with the squash and the corn pesto!

  92. Dana says:

    Oh my little (almost) vegetarian friend, this looks wonderful. I’ve never used tempeh bacon but I’m sure it’s great here, the smokiness would be good next to the sweetness of the corn. You are a good sister!

  93. A quick easy pasta is a must go to after an exhausting day of moving;)

  94. wow, this looks good especially since it’s pity pasta! so pretty. glad you enjoyed!

  95. grace says:

    corn pesto, what!?! terrific idea! breaking out the radiator pasta for some good ol’ soul food. nice work. 🙂

  96. Jeanette says:

    That brother-sister thing, that’s what makes family so “special” ;). Love the bowl of comfort pasta you made yourself – never tried corn pesto before, but great idea…just got some fresh corn in my CSA Box again.

  97. You are the moving help we all need! Great idea for corn. You don’t even need the bacon. It’s good on its own.

  98. Chris says:

    Sounds fabulous, Joanne. I might make it even smokier by grilling the corn first to give it that fresh roasted flavor.

  99. Cara says:

    I totally need some of that tempeh bacon in my life!

  100. Shelby says:

    This is one amazing looking dish and one I definitely want to try. Not to mention, the pasta you used is adorable!

  101. I am loving the fresh corn pesto idea, Joanne! Like chowder on pasta? Bring it on!

  102. Amber H says:

    This was fantastic. I subbed almonds and hazelnuts in for the pine nuts and my book club raved about it. Thanks for the inspiration and a great recipe that makes such perfect use of seasonal produce.

  103. The shape of this pasta is so cute. I’m going to try to make the corn pesto this week – sounds phenomenal. I plan on subbing heirloom tomatoes for the zucchini since my husband isn’t a fan of squash (silly man). 🙂

  104. Ginger says:

    I just made this for dinner and it was UNBELIEVABLY good. thanks for the recipe 🙂

  105. I’ve seen this corn pesto around a few places lately and can’t believe I haven’t made it yet! Love the pasta shape you chose to pair it with.

  106. […] from Eat Well with Others made Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto recently. What an idea I say! So using that as an inspiration, I made a version of it on the stove […]

  107. […] at Eats Well With Others put together this spectacular Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto. This looks very […]

  108. Jamie says:

    This looks delish!

    Just wondering, how much pine nuts are used?


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