Orecchiette with Raw Tomato, Corn, and Basil

Make this when tomatoes and corn are in season and you will have summer in a bowl. Because the dish is so elemental and the “sauce” isn’t cooked, the better the produce and olive oil, the better the results. If you like heat, add some crushed red pepper flakes or minced jalapeño.

– 2 heaping cups (300 g) fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)

– 1½ pounds (680 g) ripe tomatoes
(about 3 medium), chopped and juices reserved

– 3 cloves garlic, minced
Large handful fresh basil and/or flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly torn

– cup (75 ml) good olive oil, plus extra, if needed
Salt and pepper

– 1 pound (455 g) orecchiette or small shells
Grated ricotta salata, crumbled feta, or freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes and their juices, garlic, herbs, and oil. Season generously with salt and pepper, toss to combine, then set the corn mixture aside.

When the water boils, season it generously with salt; it should taste like seawater. When it returns to a boil, add the pasta, quickly stir to separate the noodles, then cover the pot. When the water returns to a boil again, uncover and boil the pasta until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta, then pour it over the reserved corn mixture. Toss to combine, then check the seasonings. Serve with the cheese.

Make-Ahead/Staggered: Serve hot, warm, or cold. Reheat, if you like, in a saucepan over medium heat with a splash of water, stirring often. Keep, covered, in the refrigerator for
up to 2 days.