Spaghetti with Corn Carbonara & Crab

The first time I made this dish was for a special belated Father’s Day dinner. In the middle of cooking (thankfully on a gas stove…), there was a severe thunderstorm and resulting power outage. After my initial relief that I no longer needed electricity to complete the meal, I realized that I was in total darkness and couldn’t take a photo of this dish! Gasp! :/ We did really enjoy eating it by candlelight though. 🙂

I had an excuse to make this dish a second time when my mom was visiting- she LOVES crab. 🙂 This time I was able to use fresh local bicolor corn from our farmers market. SO good! The sweetness of the corn is very important in this dish as it is barely cooked. We ate with a green salad loaded with CSA veggies. Mmmmm… healthy deliciousness!

This seasonal and tasty recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Tim Maslow. I used a Vitamix to make the corn cream sauce and used pancetta instead of pork guanciale. The creamless corn sauce is not only healthy- it is unbelievably creamy. Lovely.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 7 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 pound diced pancetta
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice, plus finely grated zest, for garnish
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
  1. On a work surface, cut the corn kernels off of the cobs; using the sharp side of the knife, scrape the pulp off the cobs. You should have 4 cups of kernels and pulp. Transfer the kernels and pulp to a Vitamix or blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Strain the puree through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids.
  3. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  4. Wipe out the saucepan and melt the butter in it. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered, about 7 minutes.
  5. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the spaghetti, strained corn puree, 1 1/4 cups of the pasta cooking water and the lemon juice.
  7. Cook over moderate heat, tossing, until the sauce is thickened and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes; add more of the cooking water if necessary.
  8. Season the pasta with salt and pepper and very gently fold in the crab. Transfer to shallow bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with lemon zest, if desired, and serve right away.

Note: The strained corn puree can be refrigerated overnight.

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