Orecchiette with Sweetcorn and Green Chilli

“Sweetcorn and pasta are not an obvious pairing, but I love the chewiness of the pasta next to the sweet crunchy pop of sweetcorn, which here is backed up by green chilli, ricotta and greens,” says food writer and chef, Anna Jones.

Read more: Cauliflower, Lemon and Chilli Pasta

“You can use frozen corn if fresh is not around. If you don’t have smoked salt, sea salt will do just fine. If you are using frozen corn, defrost it in a heatproof bowl by pouring boiling water over it, leave it to sit for a few minutes, then drain.”

Orecchiette with Sweetcorn and Green Chilli

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • A bunch of rainbow or Swiss chard (about 250g), stalks and leaves separated
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • Kernels from 2-3 cobs of corn or 350g frozen kernels
  • 400g orecchiette or other small dried pasta
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Smoked salt or flaky sea salt
  • 250g ricotta or vegan ricotta-style cheese (I like the Tofutti brand)
  • Zest and juice of an unwaxed lemon
  • A large bunch of basil, leaves picked

Method

Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil. Finely chop the stalks and shred the leaves of the chard and finely chop your chillies. If you are using frozen corn, put it into a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions or until al dente.

Read more: Pasta with Sage, Butter and Pine Nuts

While the pasta is cooking, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, then add the corn (drained if using frozen) and a good pinch of smoked salt or sea salt and black pepper. Cook for four to five minutes (a few minutes longer if you are using frozen) until the kernels are tender and beginning to brown.

Next, add the chard stalks and cook for a few minutes more, before adding the leaves and the chillies. Cook for a further four to five minutes, until the leaves have wilted.

Drain the pasta once it is cooked, reserving a large mugful of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the frying pan with half the ricotta and half the reserved pasta water and mix well. Turn off the heat, then add the lemon zest and juice. Toss, then, if need be, add more cooking water, so you end up with a silky sauce that coats each piece of pasta. Toss through most of the basil. Spoon the pasta into bowls, spoon the rest of the ricotta on top and finish with the last of the basil leaves.

Read more: Seven things you didn’t know about pasta

One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones, photography by Issy Croker, is published by Fourth Estate, available now.

What’s your favourite pasta dish? How often do you eat vegetarian?

– With PA

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