This Spicy, Smoky Pasta Is Rich With Fresh Corn and Cream

This decadent pasta with fresh corn is spicy, smoky, and incredibly rich—perfect for a late summer or early fall dinner to enjoy outside with family and friends.

This Spicy, Smoky Pasta Is Rich With Fresh Corn and Cream
Spicy Creamed Corn Linguine
Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

The time of year when summer meets fall is my absolute favorite. The weather is still hot, which I prefer (dramatically so) over the cold, but the evenings start to cool off a bit, which is nice. 

My grandparents would often use this time to drink tea in our garden and prep vegetables that they had picked during the day. My grandfather grew corn, my grandmother was an expert corn shucker, and I’m fairly certain that I was too.

This creamed corn linguine takes me back to one of those late summer early fall evenings. The pasta sauce is made with both creamed and whole fresh corn, smoked cheddar, adobo peppers, and heavy cream. I like cherry tomatoes, cilantro, basil, or even crumbled bacon bits as toppings. 

How to Shuck Corn

This recipe calls for six ears of corn, which will feel like a lot, but once it comes together in the sauce it’ll be just right! Any color of corn will do. Allegedly, white and yellow corn taste the same. So, use whichever corn looks the best at the farmers market or grocery store. Pick corn that is firm to the touch and bright in color. Steer clear of corn that appears to be shriveled or browning. 

There are several ways to shuck corn, but I find this the simplest:

  • Stand the corn vertically, with the stem-side down and the tip facing up.
  • Peel the outer leaves without removing them.
  • Separate the silk on the top to reveal the corn kernels. Rub downward with your hand, taking the silks and remaining leaves with it.
  • Snap off the bottom stem—the husk should also come right off.
Spicy Creamed Corn Linguine
Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

How to Cut the Corn Off the Cob

To cut the corn off the cob, stand the shucked corn vertically inside a large bowl. Using a small sharp knife, cut downward to remove the kernels off the cob. Once all the kernels are removed, take the back of the knife and carefully scrape any remaining “milk” off the cob. Don’t skip this step! This is an opportunity to get all of the sweet, flavorful juices from the cob. 

Substitutions are Welcomed

  • Smoked cheese gives this pasta a deep, smoky flavor. That said, it’s optional! Feel free to use any type of cheddar, pepper jack, or any hard cheese if you like. 
  • The heat and smokiness come from the canned chipotle peppers in adobo. I use 2 peppers, along with 1/4 cup of the sauce. If you would like less heat, use 1 pepper or even half a pepper. For a spicier sauce, add as many peppers as you’d like! 
  • This recipe calls for linguine, but feel free to use whatever pasta you have on hand. Don’t forget to salt the pasta cooking water. I repeat, salt your pasta water. It’s a simple step, but it makes such a big difference.
  • To cut down on the prep time, buy those nifty pre-shucked packages of corn from the grocery store. I like using the freshest corn since it’s so tasty when it’s in season, but I’m sure the pre-shucked stuff will still taste amazing.
Spicy Creamed Corn Linguine
Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

More Corn Recipes to Try

Cook the linguine:

Bring a large pot (about 4 quarts) of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook linguine according to the package instructions until al dente. Save 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Then drain the pasta in a colander and return it to the pot.

Cooked Linguine in a Colander for Spicy Creamed Corn Linguine Recipe
Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

Meanwhile, prepare the corn: 

In a large bowl, stand the corn vertically and use a small sharp knife to cut downward to remove the kernels off the corn. Using the back of the knife, scrape the cob downward to scrape off any liquid. Discard the cob and set the corn aside.

Bowl of Corn Kernels for Creamed Corn Linguine Recipe
Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

Cook the shallots and garlic:

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until translucent.

Garlic and Shallots Pan Fried in Skillet for Linguine with Spicy Creamed Corn
Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

Add the corn: 

Stir in the corn (including the liquid you scraped from the cobs) and salt. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the corn becomes tender, scraping the bottom of the skillet often so that it doesn’t burn. Turn the heat off.

Blend the corn:

Scoop out 1 cup cooked corn and set aside. Scrape the remaining into a blender with the adobo peppers, adobo sauce, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Blend on medium-high until somewhat smooth with a little texture, 30 to 45 seconds.

Finish the sauce:

Return the blended corn and reserved whole corn kernels to the skillet. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water to loosen if it thickens too much.

Spicy Creamed Corn Linguine Sauce in a Pan
Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

Toss the pasta with the sauce and cheese, then serve:

Add the sauce and cheese to the cooked linguine in the pot. Toss to coat, adding 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to help smooth out the sauce. Keep on adding more pasta water a bit at a time if the sauce needs it. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding the optional sugar, if you like. To serve, garnish it with the tomatoes and cilantro, if desired.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing leftovers. The pasta will get mushy.

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Spicy Creamed Corn Linguine on a Platter
Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham