Dewy morning grass. T-ball nights. Picnics in the park. Catching frogs. Planting flowers. Dirty fingernails. Gnats. Melted popsicles on tiny shirts. Wet swim clothes hanging outside to dry. Scraped knees. More gnats. Bike rides. Thunderstorms. Ant traps. Sticky skin. Much needed baths. Sleeping HARD.
It’s actually hard to believe it’s technically still spring, because I feel like we are on a mission to do ALL THE SUMMER THINGS and have been going at full speed ever since the temps climbed above 50. After what felt like the longest, most bitter winter, how could we not be in a state of euphoria? I remember the day my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I moved away from Florida. The temps had already reached 90 degrees F while we were packing up the car at 9 a.m., and we were sweating bullets and not happy about it. We were SO happy to get the heck out of dodge. But honestly, after living in a few different climates since then, I really miss being able to do whatever you want outside any time of the year you want to. Everyone is just HAPPIER, more entertained, and sleeping so much better. I seriously don’t understand how Eskimos raise children.
This recipe is inspired by all things summer and also this galette (Corn and Tomato Basil Galette). Pasta dishes usually make me think of heavy sauces and cold, rainy days. But this one swaps the heavy sauce for a seriously light garlic sauce and a big ‘ol dollop of ricotta and fresh basil on the top. Using sausage for the protein keeps it simple, but you could easily swap it out for some grilled chicken for an equally yummy dinner. The pasta could also easily be swapped for gluten-free pasta to keep wheat out of the equation.
I usually try to find a precooked chicken sausage in a flavor that is complementary to what I’m cooking. For this recipe, I’d choose a flavor like spinach, basil, sun-dried tomato, garlic, or something like that. I would stay away from the sausage with jalapeño or bbq flavorings simply because those flavors won’t complement this dish. If your grocery store doesn’t carry anything like that (our local one doesn’t), I would opt for andouille in a pinch. Or you could even go with Italian sausage links, but you’ll have to be sure to cook them all the way through before slicing since they are raw. Let me know what type of sausage you end up trying below in the comments! I’m always curious to try something new.
I hope you are enjoying the weather wherever you are, and I hope this recipe will come in handy one summer night very soon. Please let me know if you try it!
Summer Pasta with Ricotta and Basil
Yields: about 4 servings
12 oz penne or bowtie pasta (about 3/4 a box)
12 oz package precooked chicken sausage (choose a flavor like basil, garlic, sun-dried tomato, or spinach)
4 ears of fresh corn, husked and silks removed
2 fresh tomatoes, diced (or one package cherry tomatoes, cut in half)
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup ricotta cheese
handful fresh basil leaves
extra olive oil for cooking"
Preheat your grill to a low heat, like 375 F. Brush the corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the corn and sausage on the grill and close the lid. Cook the sausage for about 2-3 minutes on each side, watching it carefully to not scorch the outside (it’s already precooked, so no need for temping). Cook the corn for about 10-15 minutes on low heat, or until it turns bright yellow, turning it occasionally to prevent burning. Set both aside when done. Bring a large pot halfway filled with water to a boil and put in a few tablespoons of Kosher salt. Cook your pasta for about 10 minutes or until it is softened but still has a little bite to it (al dente). While your pasta is cooking, slice the sausage on an angle. Cut the corn off the cob with a serrated knife if you have one. When the pasta is done, drain. In the same pot, saute the minced garlic for about 4 minutes over low heat. with the 4 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the fresh lemon juice and chicken stock, and cook for another few minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, sliced sausage, corn, and pasta to the pot. Stir to combine and heat through for a couple minutes. Remove pot from heat. Serve pasta with a dollop of ricotta cheese on top and freshly chopped basil. Enjoy!
I use the grill for the sausage and corn because I love that rustic, “grilled” flavor it brings to the ingredients, but you can easily just cook the sausage in the oven before slicing. Alternatively, you could slice it up first and sauté it in a pan. You could also cook the corn by boiling it or baking it as well.
This recipe can easily be made gluten-free by swapping the traditional pasta for a gluten-free pasta.