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With the arrival of longer days of golden sunshine and warmer temperatures, it’s time to serve some lighter fare.
I’m a big fan of salads, and delicious pasta salads have always been a favorite of mine.
There’s usually very little cooking involved, and a beautiful, delicious meal can be prepared quickly on busy days. And they’re great for packing in your lunch for work or for throwing into a picnic basket for an early summer outing.
Today, we’re making a simple but tasty fresh corn pasta salad – bright, colorful, and satisfying without being too filling!
I always choose to use fresh corn on the cob when it’s available – it tastes way better than the canned or frozen version, but if you don’t have a choice, these types will also do when sweet corn is not in season.
I like using bowtie noodles, but likewise, you can substitute it for your favorite short variety, like elbows or penne.
Once the corn and pasta are cooked, simply toss them with some diced red onions and spring onions, and a drizzle of homemade lemon dressing. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and you’re ready to serve!
To make it a full meal, try adding grilled chicken breast or a garnish of crunchy roasted chickpeas for some added protein.
Halved cherry or grape tomatoes also make a wonderful addition to this dish, for an added burst of color, flavor, and nutrients.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Set out the Mise en Place
Shuck the corn, and cut the kernels off the cobs.
Dice the red onions and chop the spring onions.
Measure out the olive oil, salt, black pepper, basil, and pasta.
Squeeze the lemon to get fresh juice.
Step 2 – Cook the Kernels
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and then blanch the corn in the boiling water until they turn bright yellow.
Drain them through a colander and then rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking. Set aside.
Step 3 – Cook the Carbs
Fill another large pot with generously salted water and bring it to a boil.
Cook the macaroni according to package instructions until al dente. Drain through a colander and then rinse with cold water to prevent it from cooking more. Set aside.
Step 4 – Prepare the Dressing
Combine the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper with a whisk in a medium-sized bowl. I like to drizzle the olive oil into the mixture while stirring with a whisk, to make a nice emulsion.
Step 5 – Mix the Ingredients
Combine the cooked corn, bow ties, and onions in a large mixing bowl.
Step 6 – Dress, Garnish, and Serve
Pour the prepared dressing on top of the ingredients and toss well, until the dressing is evenly distributed. Garnish with fresh basil leaves this dish is ready to serve as a side at your next cookout or warm-weather gathering.
If you like, refrigerate for a few hours before serving to meld the flavors.
Bring Freshness and Color to Your Table
This salad is not only pleasing to the eye, it’s also simple to make, and just filling enough for this time of year. Fresh and colorful, it’s perfect for warmer days.
Make a large batch of this recipe to feed a crowd at your next barbecue, or pack up the leftovers to last you through the week!
Can’t get enough of this summery ingredient? Try out some other tasty recipes in our round up of the best dishes that feature sweet corn.
What’s your favorite way to prepare a pasta salad? We can’t get enough of them! Try our Sicilian pasta salad for a unique spin on a traditional dish with bold Mediterranean flavors. Share your tips and favorites in the comments below!
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Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Felicia Lim
Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.