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Pasta with Corn & Bacon

This straightforward pasta is simple but utterly satisfying. Spaghetti gets twirled around a dead-simple sauce of bacon, sweet corn, garlic and shallots, and is then sprinkled with a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of lime juice (which brightens everything up). The sweetness from the corn is the perfect counterpoint to the salty bacon and cheese. If your bacon is really fatty, feel free to drain off some fat before adding the shallots and garlic—you’re aiming for about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta with corn, pasta with corn and bacon, pasta with corn recipe
Servings: 4 people


  • 4 ounces meaty bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces spaghetti (regular or gluten-free)
  • Kernels from 3 ears of corn
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives, plus more for serving
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Put the bacon in a large skillet (the largest you’ve got!) and place it over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp.
  • Add the shallot and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 2 minutes. Set the skillet aside.
  • Season the boiling water with salt, and add the spaghetti. Set a timer for 1 minute before the package directions for al dente. When the timer goes off, add the corn kernels. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain.
  • Slide the drained pasta and corn into the skillet with the bacon and turn the heat to medium. Add about half of the reserved cooking water (or more as needed), stirring, until the pasta is coated and looks glossy. Season generously with salt and pepper (this is key—you will need more than you think). Remove the pan from the heat and add the lime juice, Parmesan and chives. Drizzle in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or lime juice, as needed.
  • Twirl the spaghetti into bowls and garnish with more Parmesan and chives.


  • I love this dish with spaghetti, but you can use any long noodle shape.
  • I prefer the smokiness of bacon with the sweet corn, but you could use pancetta instead.
  • Be sure to reserve some of the pasta cooking water, which will help to bind all of the ingredients together and create a glossy sauce.  
  • Use your best quality olive oil for drizzling over the pasta - this is the time to pull out the good stuff! 
  • If you can't find chives you can use other herbs instead! Think chopped parsley, basil or scallions. 
  • For another summer pasta recipe, try this quick and easy Fresh Tomato Pesto Pasta!