Pasta Salad with Corn, Basil, and Pine Nuts

July 25, 2012  •  Pasta & Pizza, Salads

During the hot days of summer – and with the string of days over 90 degrees that we have had in Colorado, this certainly qualifies as the hot days of summer – I love to make things that can be served at room temperature. Pasta salads made without mayonnaise are a perfect example.I know I’ve written before about how well basil and corn go together. My first idea for this pasta salad was to tap into the fabulous basil crop I have this year. Wouldn’t you know it? The one summer I’m not able to cook that much thanks to my knee my basil – and all of my herbs for that matter – have gone crazy! But I also like interesting texture in my recipes, and the creamy-crunch of the toasted pine nuts is the perfect addition to this incredibly simple salad. Try it for your next picnic or block party this summer.

Pasta Salad with Corn, Basil, and Pine Nuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4-6
  • 8 ounces small shaped pasta (orzo or smaller)
  • 3 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cobs, and cobs discarded
  • ¼ cup basil puree (see note) or pesto
  • 1 handful of basil chiffonade
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook the pasta until just barely al dente. Microwave corn for 2-3 minutes to just slightly cook it. Combine corn and pasta and toss with the basil puree, fresh basil, and pine nuts. Add olive oil if you'd like it a bit looser and season with salt and pepper to taste.
When I have a really large harvest of basil, instead of making pesto, i simply puree large batches of basil in the food processor with just enough extra virgin olive oil to turn it into a thick paste. I spoon it into ice cube trays to freeze, then pop these into a plastic bag so they are ready to use. If you want a true pesto, you can add Parmigiano cheese and pine nuts later, but by omitting them before you freeze it, you are left with a more pure basil product that can be used in lots of recipes.


Add a Comment

Rate this recipe: