- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) olive oil
- About 3 cups fresh corn kernels (3 cobs medium to large)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) butter, salted or unsalted
- 1 pound (455 grams) dried linguine or other pasta of your choice
- 8 ounces (225 grams) pecorino romano cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus extra grater for garnish
Cook the pasta: Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the linguini until about 30 seconds before done. (We’re not going for a full al dente dish here because the pasta dish is finished off the heat and therefore won’t continue cooking.) Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and book.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Prepare your sauce before the pasta is done cooking, as we want to add it to the very hot noodles. In a food processor or high-speed blender, blend the pecorino and about 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper until the cheese is as fine as possible. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of cold water, one at a time, and mix each addition thoroughly before adding the next. You are looking to change the cheese from a powdery consistency to a creamy consistency, like frosting for a cake; stir the mixture for as long as needed (about 1 minute) to achieve this. Taste the mixture: it should be very salty and peppery; add more pepper if needed (aged pecorino is usually very salty, but if using something else, add salt here too)
Assemble and eat: As soon as your pasta is drained, put it back in the empty pan with the black pepper-pecorino sauce. The sauce will be too thick for the task, but do your best to spread it evenly over the noodles. Next, start adding the reserved pasta water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, stirring the pasta all the time. This will soften the cheese mixture and give it a nice gravy consistency. Keep adding water, stirring all the time, but not so much that the sauce “washes” the noodles. Add the reserved corn and mix, then transfer everything to a serving bowl. Finish with more cheese and black pepper and eat right away.
Do it in advance: Not my favorite dish to reheat, but you can make the corn ahead (an hour or a day, just reheat it), and the cheese-pepper sauce (up to a week in the fridge) , and have everything ready to reheat. go when the pasta is very hot.