Orecchiette with corn, leeks, and ricotta

Vegetarian, Soy Free

2 Servings, 760 Calories/Serving

30 Minutes

We love the crunch of fresh corn against tender pasta and cooling ricotta in this breezy, summery vegetarian main dish. Corn tastes freshest straight off the cob; to keep the kernels from scattering onto the floor, use Chef Justine’s trick, and lay the cob flat as you cut off the kernels.


  • 5 ounces orecchiette
  • 1 leek
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 ears corn
  • Fresh dill
  • 1 lemon
  • 1½ ounces hazelnuts
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh ricotta



Cook the pasta

Heat the oven to 350ºF. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orecchiette and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. While the orecchiette cooks, prep the vegetables.


Prep the vegetables

  • Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then crosswise into ½-inch-thick half-moons. Rinse.
  • Coarsely chop the garlic.
  • Shuck the corn. Lay the cob flat and cut off the kernels. Discard the cobs.
  • Coarsely chop the dill.
  • Zest and juice the lemon.


Toast the hazelnuts

On a sheet pan, spread the hazelnuts in an even layer. Roast the oven until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Using the side of a knife, lightly crush the hazelnuts. While the nuts toast, start the sauce.


Make the sauce

In a pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the leeks, garlic and as much Aleppo pepper as you like. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the reserved cooking water, orecchiette, and corn kernels. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the corn is tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the dill, lemon zest, and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if you like.



Transfer the orecchiete to individual plates. Garnish with the ricotta and hazelnuts and serve.


Chef's tip

Never rinse your pasta after cooking. It will not only cool the pasta, but also prevent the noodles from absorbing the sauce. You want to take advantage of any starch remaining on the surface of the orecchiette to thicken the sauce slightly.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 760, Protein: 22 g, Total Fat: 37 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 25.5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 10 mg, Carbohydrates: 93 g, Fiber: 10 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 580 mg
Contains: tree nuts, milk, wheat

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