Creamed Corn and Pancetta Orzo

Corn To Be Wild!

Creamed Corn and Pancetta OrzoCreamed Corn and Pancetta Orzo

Side or Main Dish:

From the Tracy’s Kitchen archives, here is a recipe that I first came across in Bon Appétit magazine and it was our Recipe of the Year for 2008.  I have made this periodically over the years and had forgotten how delicious it is.  Of course, I had to amp it up with the addition of Pancetta (Pancetta could be one of my all-time favorite ingredients).  To save some time you can use a bag of frozen sweet corn, but freshly picked summer corn is hard to beat.

We paired this with a BBQ Tri-Tip, an arugula salad and Skillet Corn Bread I made using Hatch Chiles.  I think some Strawberry Grand Marnier Fig Jam drizzled over vanilla ice cream would be a perfect end to this meal.  Late summer deliciousness.  Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1 1/3 c. orzo
2 c. whipping cream
4 ears of fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from cobs, divided (1 cob reserved)
2 T. olive oil
1 leek (finely chopped, white part only)
1/3 c. dry white wine
4 slices pancetta (about ½ lb. sliced 1/4” thick, chopped) or more!
Chopped fresh chives for garnish

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Directions:
Place cream, half of the corn kernels, and reserved cob in a heavy medium saucepan.  Boil over medium heat until thickened, about 15 minutes.  Discard cob.  Puree sauce with an immersion blender until smooth (if you don’t have the time or a blender, you can skip this step).

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté pancetta until crispy, remove from pan and let drain on a paper towel.

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While the pancetta is cooking, cook the orzo according to directions in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.  Drain but don’t rinse.

Add leek to pancetta drippings and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Add remaining corn kernels and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in pancetta, creamed corn sauce, and cooked orzo.  Bring to simmer.  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with chives and serve.

Serves: 8 side servings or 4 main course.

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Creamed Corn and Pancetta Orzo
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