Insanely Delicious: Baked Penne with Corn, Zucchini and Basil
Let me just tell you right now, this is one of my absolute favorite dishes. It is a little more time-intensive, but boy, it is worth it. The recipe calls for fresh corn on the cob, which you have to shuck and sauté, which makes a HUGE difference. If you were to make this recipe using canned or frozen corn, I don’t think it would taste as good. Fresh corn has a great snap and crisp. This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma. They have some GOOD recipes. Get ready for quite a few pictures—this was a fun and colorful recipe.
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook half a pound of penne pasta until al dente according to package instructions.
Next, shuck the corn. Rinse the bare cobs under running water to make sure all of the strings come off.
Then, cut off the kernels with a sharp knife.
Cut the zucchini into half-moons.
Core the tomatoes—I cut the tops off and then use my knife to cut a circle around the core, and then use my fingers to pull the inside out.
Chop into one-inch pieces.
Chop the onion.
Sauté the corn in olive oil with salt and pepper until it is golden, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside in another bowl. Fresh corn smells and sounds so good when it’s sautéing.
Sauté the zucchini with salt and pepper until it’s translucent and set aside in another bowl.
In a large saucepan, cook the onion, tomatoes, garlic, fresh oregano and red pepper flakes until it forms a sauce. Then, you add tomato paste and white wine and let it simmer and reduce.
Here comes the fun part. Add the pasta, corn, zucchini, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and half the Parmigianino-Reggiano to a very large bowl.
Stir to combine, then add the basil and let it wilt in.
Resist the urge to eat it straight out of the bowl. It still needs to bake in the oven… Top with remaining Parmigianino-Reggiano.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Your kitchen will smell incredible and you will also need to resist the urge to lick the mixing bowl.
Serve with a protein source, or just eat by itself. It may be a good idea to serve this to a large crowd so you don’t have seconds (or thirds…). This also warms up great for lunch the next day. Well done, Williams-Sonoma. Click here for the recipe! You’ve got to try this one!