By the time you read this post, I will be long gone. It’s the end of August and that means, every other year, that we are in Sun Valley with my parents. This is a sweet trip for me. I have been going to that lovely mountain town since I was 11 years old. When I was younger, it was hot days and cold nights, hours spent at the pool, horse back riding, river rafting, time spent with camp friends, and teenage boys who were my crushes. Nowadays it is hot days and cold nights, hours spent at the pool, going on slides at the playground, splashing in the town fountain, time spent with my family, and very young boys who are my children. My life has changed plenty, Sun Valley is mostly the same.
Leaving town means leaving a refrigerator and that means doing your very best to make sure that refrigerator is next to empty. I had some goodies to use up and I came up with a truly delicious pasta to do so. I see posts like this frequently and I wonder, why on earth would I make your dish? I am never going to have those same odds and ends on hand. But this is a dish worth shopping for. As Spencer, my four-year-old, is fond of saying, “For reals life.”
Orecchiette with Roasted Tomatoes and Corn
Dana Treat Original
The inspiration for this dish was ingredients on hand, plus a long-ago cut out recipe for a pasta with Brie cheese to make it creamy. It is best to remove the rind in this dish. If you Brie is super soft, just pop it in the freezer for about 10 minutes and it will slice right off. I also had a blue cheese in the refrigerator and I contemplated using that in the pasta instead of the Brie. Finally, the “stuff” to pasta ratio is high here – you could bulk up the pasta to feed more people and leave the “stuff” the same.
2 cups cherry tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1½ cups fresh corn kernels (from 1 large cob)
2 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
8 ounces orecchiette
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the cherry tomatoes on a small baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper and, using your hands, mix well. Pop in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove and scrape into a large bowl.
Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Pour in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the shallots along with a large pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring frequently, until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the thyme, followed by the corn. Continue to cook until fragrant and the corn is soft, about another 3 minutes. Remove and scrape the corn mixture into the same bowl with the tomatoes. Put the cheese and the basil in there as well.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Pour in the orecchiette and cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Taste to make sure. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the pasta into the bowl with the other ingredients. Stir gently, adding some of the pasta water if it seems to dry.