Parmesan Roasted Corn & Summer Squash Penne


This past week I was craving barbecue chicken. I have no idea why (it's not a favorite food or anything) but it was essential that it be done on the grill because it was that charred smokey flavor that I wanted. I don't typically share recipes here but I tried out two new recipes over the weekend that turned out great so I just couldn't resist passing them along.

I'm not very picky and I like to cook so Food Network and I get along swimmingly and I grab recipes off their website fairly often. These recipes are not off the website but they are from some Food Network chefs. I wasn't ambitious enough to make my own barbecue sauce, but I did find a corn idea that looked amazing (and was!).

(John Paul --master of the grill)

Okay, I confess, even though I like cooking one of the reasons I love grilling out is because John Paul does the grilling. I hate cooking meat and he likes to grill so it works out great. For this particular meal we went with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's Wango Tango sauce (a favorite) which is tangy and kind of spicy. I marinaded the chicken in it for a few hours (while we went on a movie date) before we grilled it. It was a joint effort meal (also a favorite) since I was making the side dishes. All of the sides were pretty standard except that I finally got to try out a grilled corn recipe that I was sure John Paul would love. For some reason I just think everything tastes better on the grill. I love grilled veggies. We grilled our corn but that was just step one.

This recipe for was an "Italian-style" grilled corn on the cob which was covered in herbs and parmigiano-reggiano. You rolled the corn in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then dredged it in parmesan cheese and sprinkled it with red pepper flakes and fresh chopped mint.

(My dredging station)

(Meal complete)

Okay here's the official recipe (which I halfed for John Paul and I):

"Corn as Italians Would Eat It"
(Mario Batali recipe)

6 ears corn, shucked
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 to 1½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
About 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Hot red pepper flakes

Makes 6 ears

Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a gas grill.

Place the corn on the hottest part of the grill and cook for 3 minutes, or until grill marks appear on the first side. Roll each ear over a quarter turn and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then repeat two more times.

Meanwhile, mix the oil and vinegar on a large flat plate. Spread the Parmigiano on another flat plate.

When the corn is cooked, roll each ear in the oil and vinegar mixture, shake off the extra oil, and dredge in the Parmigiano to coat lightly. Place on a platter, sprinkle with the mint and pepper flakes, and serve immediately.

Okay one more. Yesterday, I made a penne dish that was surprisingly good. It's different and doesn't really have a sauce but it was great! Here's the recipe (which I again halfed for John Paul and I):

(This is obviously not the dish I made, but it was the one with the recipe and it's just so much prettier)

Pennette With Summer Squash & Ricotta

Recipe courtesy of Molto Gusto (ecco 2010)

Serves 6.

Kosher salt
1 cup fresh ricotta
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
2 to 3 tablespoons warm water
1 pound summer squash or zucchini, or a combination, cut lengthwise in half and sliced into 1⁄3-inch-thick half-moons
Maldon or other flaky sea salt
1 pound pennette rigate
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
Coarsely ground black pepper

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt.

Meanwhile, whisk the ricotta and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil together in a small bowl. Add the Parmigiano, whisking until it is evenly incorporated. Whisk in 2 table- spoons warm water, then whisk in another tablespoon of water if necessary to loosen the consistency.

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the squash and cook, stirring, until just tender and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Season well with Maldon salt and remove from the heat.

Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1⁄3 cup of the pasta water.

Add the pasta and the reserved pasta water to the squash, stirring and tossing over medium heat to mix well. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and allow to steam together for 2 minutes.

Stir in the mint, season with Maldon salt if necessary and with pepper, and transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Garnish with dollops of the whipped ricotta and serve immediately, with additional grated Parmigiano on the side.


  1. being Italian, I feel like I have some credibility in the area of what food italians like to eat- i approve of your corn recipe :)

    Also- Josh would love that pasta! too bad the mid-west has the worrrrst ricotta cheese ever.. not enough italians here, I guess. I wonder if it would be worth tryng to smuggle some on the plane back to Colorado next time i come visit you and my family? :) miss you!

  2. MAYBE you should start some sort of dairy arm Ricotta cheese endeavor seeing as you are in fact Italian.