I am pleased to present to you my new favorite pasta salad for summer entertaining: this herbed summer corn pasta salad.
Made with bowtie pasta (totally underrated pasta shape) tossed with juicy sweet summer corn, briefly sauteed so it maintains it's crunch, briny feta cheese, and tons of fresh herbs, it's one of those dishes that just tastes like summer. Whenever I make a pasta salad, it's usualy some variation on the same stale old Mediterranean pasta salad (sun-dried tomatoes...cucumber...feta....balsamic vinaigrette...blah, blah, blah...you know the drill). It is a classic, but I feel like I've had it a million times. Let's make pasta salad with corn the new thing!
I made this pasta salad to take to a new neighbors house for a small welcome party they were throwing. If you follow my insta-stories, yes, these were the neighbors I asked if their house was haunted within a minute of meeting them - Scott teased me mercilessly for that. In my defense, they bought a big, beautiful home that no one has lived in since we moved to the neighborhood 8 years ago, so it definitely has a creepy little girl ghost in the attic kinda vibe, and I just had to know. Turns out there's no ghost, but we did find out South Carolina's most prolific serial killer lived in our neighborhood for a period of time. Is it weird that I'm kinda hoping it was at our house? Perhaps I'm probably being too transparent with my true crime fascination...
Whenever I eat with friends (old or new), it always reminds me of how important food is for connecting with other people. Sometimes when I'm talking to a new client about their relationship with food growing up, they mention how food was such a big deal at family events as a negative thing. They feel like these food-centric celebrations taught them to love food "too much." But fostering strong social connections is one of the best things you can do for your health, and sharing food is how we do that. Can you imagine if our new neighbors asked us to come over to their (haunted) house Saturday night just to talk?? Umm, no thanks. But burgers and beer on the front porch? Absolutely!
I hope when you make this salad that you're enjoying it with other people, thinking about the yummy flavors and the people you're with, not worrying about the carbohydrate content. This is a dish for sharing!
If you make the pasta salad in advance, just refresh the flavors before serving with a drizzle of olive oil and a spritz of lime juice. If you'd like to bulk it up to serve as a main course, add chickpeas or chicken for more protein, and you could serve it over a bed of greens too.
Herbed Summer Corn Pasta Salad
Makes 1 big batch for sharing!
- 1 lb bowtie pasta
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- Kernels from 2 large ears of corn (cut the kernels off by running a serrated knife down the side of the cob)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper and jalapeno and saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add corn and saute 2-3 more minutes until peppers and onion are lightly golden and corn is crisp-tender. Season with salt to taste.
- In a large serving bowl, toss together sauteed vegetables and pasta. Let cool to room temperature. Stir in tomatoes, feta, lime juice and herbs. Serve room temperature or chilled.
More recipes for summer entertaining: