Pasta with Sweet Corn Gremolata is a no-cooking required sweet corn and tomato sauce and tossed with pasta. Fresh and ready in 15 minutes.
When it feels like the Earth is melting at the end of the summer and you cannot be bothered to turn on the oven, this pasta dish is the perfect solution for your “what’s for dinner” crisis.
It celebrates the sweet, end of summer corn (but you can make this any time of year), perfect vine-ripened tomatoes, and loads of fresh herbs from the garden.
Even better – the sauce is no-cook. Throw the ingredients into a bowl and it’s ready to go. Boil some pasta, give it a toss, and dinner is ready.
What is gremolata?
Gremolata is a fresh sauce similar to a chimichurri. It’s Italian and is a mixture of parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.
It’s typically served with ossobuco but it is amazing with grilled chicken, fish, swirled into soups or stews, or even with your scrambled eggs and toast.
I added tomatoes and sweet corn to mine to make it a no-cook pasta sauce, and you can add lots of things to change yours up too.
If you are like me, and have a summer garden that is overflowing, you might not even need to take a trip to the store to make this summery pasta dish.
A nice balance of pantry staples and fresh produce, this corn pasta requires minimal ingredients.
For the no-cook sweet corn and tomato sauce, you will need corn, tomatoes, green onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley.
To make the pasta, you will need spaghetti, or your favorite pasta shape (I don’t recommend an open tube shape, the corn will get stuck inside), and Parmesan cheese.
Corn. You can use either fresh or frozen corn for this dish. Peak sweet corn is always ideal, but use what you have available. This is a great recipe to use leftover corn if you’ve made too much the night before. Just cut it off the cob and save it in the fridge for this recipe. If I don’t have leftover corn, I will quickly saute the corn in a pan with a tablespoon of grapeseed oil for 5 minutes until corn is cooked through.
Tomatoes. Super sweet cherry tomatoes are my favorite to use in this recipe. Slice them in half with a serrated knife and toss them into the bowl. If you have an abundance of tomatoes to use, you can use any variety from the store or heirloom from your garden, just dice into bite-size pieces.
Extra-virgin olive oil. Because this sauce is not cooked, use the best olive oil you can. It flavors the sauce and will coat the pasta creating a sauce. I like to go to an olive oil store and taste a few varieties before purchasing and try from different countries.
How to Make – The Steps
This no-cook pasta sauce comes together faster than your water comes to a boil. A quick corn and tomato gremolata and one-pot is all you need to for a fresh and flavorful summer pasta dinner. Simply:
1. Bring the water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.
2. Add the cooked corn kernels, halved tomatoes, and sliced green onions to a large bowl.
3. Use one of my favorite kitchen tools ever – the Microplane – to zest a lemon into the bowl.
4. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the bowl.
5. Pour in the olive oil.
6. Use the microplane again to grate garlic into the corn mixture.
7. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Add chopped fresh basil and parsley.
9. Give everything a good stir and let sit until the pasta is cooked.
10. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Toss the well to coat completely.
11. Add Parmesan cheese and toss to coat the pasta. Serve and add more cheese.
What Makes This Pasta with Sweet Corn Gremolata Recipe So Good?
This is an easy pasta recipe I make on the all the time because:
- Sweet corn. Is there anything better than the end-of-summer corn? Or really corn any day of the year?
- It’s great hot and it’s also great room temperature. Serve it warm or cold.
- It takes longer to cook the pasta than it does to this pasta sauce made. I love dinners that are on the table in 20 minutes or less.
I love the freshness of this pasta recipe with my no-cook gremolata sauce, you can add or change an ingredient or two to make it your own. Try:
- Chicken, Shrimp, or Fish: Add sliced grilled chicken, a few freshly sauteed shrimp, or a piece of salmon.
- Zoodles. Zucchini noodles sauteed in some garlic and oil would be a really delicious bed for this corn and tomato sauce.
- Skip the pasta altogether. The corn and tomato gremolata could be spooned over grilled fish or chicken like salsa or even a side dish.
I love to make on the nights when I am short on time or just want to throw something together fast for my family. It’s perfect for a busy school night.
But it’s also really good as a cold pasta salad, which means I can meal prep it at the beginning of the week or bring it to picnics, potlucks or BBQs, or pack it in a lunchbox.
Top Tips for Pasta with Sweet Corn Gremolata:
- Prep ahead of time. Have a busy day ahead? You can make the sauce early in the day and just toss the pasta into it when you are ready to eat it. (Save the Parmesan for the hot pasta, the cheese melts onto the pasta and it’s divine.)
- Use the best ingredients you can. Since this is a no-cook sauce, use the freshest ingredients you can. Get the juiciest tomatoes and sweetest corn. Use the fancy olive oil.
- Don’t skimp on the cheese. Parmesan and corn is a marriage made in heaven. Sweet and salty together is beyond delicious and in this application, the more cheese the better.
This recipe is so delicious, I hope that you love it as much as we do.
More Pasta Recipes
- Easy Ravioli Lasagna
- Stovetop Mac & Cheese
- Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Nonnie’s Meat Sauce
- Boursin Pasta
- Bruschetta Pasta
Pasta with Sweet Corn Gremolata
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels cooked
- 1- pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- Zest of one lemon
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley chopped
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- Cook spaghetti al dente, according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, mix together corn, tomatoes, green onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, parsley, in a medium bowl.
- Drain pasta and toss with corn mixture. Add Parmesan, Check for seasoning.
- Serve with additional Parmesan and lemon zest.