Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fettuccine and Corn Pesto Salad

Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen have sent out the grand news once again - it's time for No Croutons Required! This month Jacqueline has inspired us all with the ever-comforting theme of noodles... Ah, for me, noodles conjure images of ample bowls of pasta salad at family reunion picnics, hearty noodle kugels for winter sabbath dinners, ethereal strands of cold soba noodles, nibbled for breakfast on my Uncle's Hawaii porch, earthy whole wheat pasta bobbing alongside adzuki beans in my mother's endless vat of vegetable soup... Clearly, I've had an itinerant, confused, and very happy childhood.

Returning to the present, I seem to have noodle salads on my mind. Jacqueline kindly took note of those of us in geographic locations where summer is either beginning or is loath to end, and thus I decided to take advantage of the blessing of southern warmth and summer corn still lingering for a few more days, and adapted a side dish, which caught my fancy in Bon Appetit magazine, into a bold main course salad. I dare say, one might even tuck some corn in the freezer and serve this warm once the winter months come, for noodle memories, be they nostalgic or new, are always welcome.

Fettuccine and Corn Pesto Salad

(Adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2010)

1/3 cup chopped walnuts
8 oz sausage-style soy crumbles (such as Morningstar Farms brand)
3 T olive oil, divided
4 cups corn kernels
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
14 oz multi-colored whole grain vegetable fettuccine
Finely minced fresh basil leaves, to taste

~ Toast the walnuts in a large dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet frequently, just until the walnuts begin to brown slightly, taking care not to let them burn. Remove them from the skillet, and set aside.
~ Add 2 T olive oil to the skillet, still over medium heat, and brown the sausage-style crumbles until they begin to crisp. Remove them from the skillet, and set aside.
~ Add the remaining 1 T olive oil to the skillet, and add the corn, garlic, salt, and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and saute until the corn is just tender.
~ Set aside 1 cup of the corn mixture, and transfer the rest to a food processor. Add the Parmesan and the toasted walnuts. With the food processor running, add the olive oil through the top and blend until the pesto is almost smooth. Set aside.
~ Cook the fettuccine according the package directions, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid when draining the pasta.
~ Return the pasta to the cooking pot and add the pesto, reserved corn kernels, sausage-style soy crumbles, and some fresh basil to taste. Toss the pasta mixture over medium heat until warmed through, pouring in the reserved cup of pasta cooking liquid gradually to thin the pesto to a smooth sauce.
~ Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve warm or chilled!


Barbara said...

Oh my! Comfort food, for certain! I love your photos and using whole wheat pasta is a plus. It's easily made during cold winter months as well as fall. Really a tempting dish!

bellini valli said...

This would have fit in with Jac and Lisa's theme last month as well which was corn. It looks like comfort food to me Astra!!

lesley lifting life said...

Creamy and comforting, for sure!

Johanna GGG said...

pesto corn and noodles are some of my favourite foods at the moment - so this salad sounds wonderful to me - and I just love your colourful fettucine

Kerstin said...

Mmm, what a lovely pasta dish - wish I had a big bowl right now!

Gulmohar said...

Such a comforting meal !