Pasta with Corn, Mushrooms, Crispy Shallots and Creme Fraiche
Photo: Phyllis Grant

Serves 3-4


  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 anchovy (packed in salt or oil but for this dish I love the salty ones)
  • 3 ears corn, shucked and cut off the cob
  • 2 cups mushrooms (use any kind, but I've been loving the combination of shiitake and hen of the woods), wiped clean with a wet paper towel and sliced thinly
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • Coarse salt for seasoning


Crank a pan to high heat. Add butter and olive oil. Once it's smoking hot, toss in the shallots. Stir for a few minutes until they've softened and browned a bit. Add big pinch of salt and balsamic. Turn heat to low and leave for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Boil a big pot of salted water for pasta.

Bash garlic and anchovy with a mortar and pestle or chop finely. Once shallots are melt-in-your-mouth tasty and crispy, add garlic/anchovy puree. Stir and integrate for a minute. Turn the heat back up and add the mushrooms. Toss for two minutes over high heat. They will start to release some water. Add corn and turn heat to low while you cook the pasta.

Place pasta in boiling water. Once the pasta is al dente, reserve a mug of pasta water. Strain pasta and add it and a bit of pasta water to the mushroom and corn mixture. Toss. Reduce the sauce down a bit. Add chopped parsley and about 1/2 of the crème fraîche and stir. Taste. Add salt as needed.

Slide into a bowl. Top with paper-thin wisps of Parmesan (I use a vegetable peeler) and more crème fraîche. If it’s too dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water. Top with parsley and some coarse salt. Eat right away.

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