Full of seasonal flavors, this Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta is an easy crowd-pleasing meal perfect for any weeknight, coming together in 45 minutes or less! | FeastInThyme.com

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta

Full of seasonal flavors, this Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta is an easy and utterly delicious meal that is perfect for any weeknight, coming together in 45 minutes or less!

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. I recommend products because I find them helpful or interesting. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

***

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

Growing up surrounded by farmland, I’ve looked forward to sweet corn season every year as far back as I can remember. From the moment fresh, local corn hits the markets in early summer until the last harvest in fall, you will always find a few ears tucked in my fridge. While I’m perfectly happy eating it simply boiled and off the cob, I’m always looking for innovative ways to incorporate it into my summer meals.

A few years ago, I discovered the joy of cutting slightly charred kernels from the cobs of grilled corn, and things haven’t been the same since. Smoky and sweet, it’s the perfect addition to summer pastas and salads.

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

***

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta

This Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta is one of my new favorite ways to enjoy farmer’s market staples like corn and zucchini. It’s simple to pull together and quick to make at home, incorporating plenty of fresh herbs and just the right amount of perfectly aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The light cream sauce tastes rich without being heavy, so it won’t bog you down in the warmer temperatures either. Best of all, it’s an easy weeknight meal that comes together in less than an hour – possibly even as little as 30 minutes if you’re good at multitasking!

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

***

Zucchini Inspiration

Have you ever gathered up all the ingredients to make something, and then get overcome by the desire to make something totally different? That’s how this recipe came to be.

Like many others, I’ve gotten a lot of kitchen inspiration from Yotom Ottolenghi and his cookbook Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi.  With all the elements for his Pasta with Fried Zucchini Salad sitting out on my counter one evening, I suddenly craved a pasta with grilled corn and a cream sauce. I quickly reassessed the ingredients I had on hand, and came up with a first draft of this Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta on the spot. I used that original recipe’s technique for frying up zucchini coins, and while I’d later reduce the amount of oil to make it more of a sauté than a fry, the slightly browned crispness his technique added was delicious. I still haven’t gotten around to making that original recipe, but I’m definitely thankful it lead me to this one!

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

***

Vegetarian Variations

Crumbled bacon adds a salty crunch and a little extra protein to this recipe, but it’s totally optional.  You can easily leave it out to make your Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta vegetarian friendly, or you can make some bacon up on the side if you have mixed diets in your household. It’s up to you!

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

If you crave sweet corn, fresh ingredients, and decadent light cream sauces like I do, you will love adding this Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta to your recipe repertoire. Enjoy this easy recipe any night of the week!

***

Looking for more quick weeknight recipes? My recipe for Mushroom & Roasted Asparagus Pappardelle Pasta might be just right, or this recipe for Chicken and Shrimp Lo Mein looks fantastic! For something a little heartier, One Pot Beef Stroganoff Soup with Sauteed Mushrooms and Egg Noodles is comforting all year round.

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

Full of seasonal flavors, this Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta is an easy crowd-pleasing meal perfect for any weeknight, coming together in 45 minutes or less! | FeastInThyme.com
5 from 1 vote
Print

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta

Full of seasonal flavors, this Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta is an easy and utterly delicious meal that is perfect for any weeknight, coming together in 45 minutes or less!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups penne pasta, cooked al dente (reserve at least a half cup pasta water)
  • 5 strips of bacon cooked until just crisp and broken into bite-size pieces (optional)
  • 3 ears of grilled corn, kernels removed and any liquid reserved (see note)
  • 2 cups zucchini, cut into coins (about 2 medium sized zucchini)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, thickly grated (plus more to serve)
  • ½ cup fresh basil chopped (you can also substitute up to half of this with fresh parsley if you like – it’s delicious!)
  • 1.5 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Before anything else, start up your pasta water and begin grilling the corn (see note).

  2. Meanwhile, cook up your bacon until just crispy in your largest non-stick skillet, if using. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Chop up the bacon into bite-size pieces once it’s cool enough to handle. Carefully remove the bacon fat and wipe down the pan for the remaining steps. 

  3. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the zucchini in a single layer for 3-5 minutes per side, working in batches if necessary. Both sides should be lightly golden and a little browned. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

  4. Without cleaning the skillet, stream the heavy cream into the leftover oil, scraping up any browned bits and swirling them into the cream. Stir in the grated parmesan cheese, which will start to melt into the cream mixture, and then the fresh herbs, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to make the sauce. Once combined, toss the zucchini coins, roasted corn (and any remaining juices), and al dente pasta with the sauce. If it seems too dry, add a splash of reserved pasta water to bring things together (I usually add about ¼ cup, but this can vary).

  5. Portion out the creamy pasta into bowls, topping with the chopped bacon and a hearty sprinkling of grated parmesan. 

Recipe Notes

Timing: The first time you make this recipe, it might take you longer than 30 minutes if you aren’t familiar with all of the components. I’d allow yourself an hour, just in case and so you don’t feel rushed. Once you’re accustomed to the techniques though, you’ll be able to multitask and reduce the amount of time in half. In terms of order, I start the pasta boiling and grill the corn first, sauté the bacon and then the zucchini as those cook, and then the final components come together quickly  with the cream sauce in the skillet.

Grilling Corn on the Stovetop: If, like me, you are not so lucky as to have a real grill to roast up your corn on the cobb, you have two options: You can grill the corn in a grill pan on the stove top, or cook it as you do normally. I use a cast iron grill pan, but be warned – it takes some time and can produce a good amount of smoke. Make sure you open those windows and have good ventilation, or you might end up setting off a smoke alarm!

For this method, heat your grill pan and brush with olive oil once hot. Place your shucked and cleaned corn on the cob in the pan, and rotate every few minutes to get an even char on the corn. This will take 15-20 minutes. When colored to your liking, remove to a high-sided bowl and cut the corn from the cob with a sharp knife, making sure to cut as close to the cob as possible so that you don’t miss out on any of the sweet juices.

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme
Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta | Feast In Thyme

 

6 thoughts on “Creamy Corn & Zucchini Summer Skillet Pasta

  1. Growing up my mom always had a small garden. And while it was small, she always managed to sneak a couple of corn stalks in it. This reminds me of those days. This is such a beautiful pasta full of some many fantastic flavors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *