This recipe for Orecchiette with Sweet White Corn and Shiitake Mushrooms was inspired by two things, erratic behavior to clean out the refrigerator, and a recipe by Sarah Copeland from The Newlywed Cookbook.  Sarah’s recipe combines the best of summer by using sweet white corn and zucchini swirls with earthy chanterelles.   I admit I did change things up a bit.

Orecchiette with Sweet White Corn and Shiitake Mushrooms

I am going to admit something that I have never admitted before.  I am kind of obsessive.  Not over the top crazy obsessive, but mildly obsessive.  I realized this the other morning as I was making coffee.  I had a million things to do, or at least I thought I did.  When in reality, I only had to focus on making coffee.

When we get ready to travel whether it is for a quick business trip or a long holiday away, I get obsessive about the kitchen.  I want whatever dried goods are in the pantry, gone.  I want the fridge emptied of all fresh produce and dairy, as well as that last drop of chardonnay, gone.  I want the counters completely wiped down.  And I want all dishes loaded in the dishwasher, so I can start it on my way out the door.  I want the kitchen to be sparkly and fresh when I open the front door upon my return, ready for me to make messy.  Anyone else shares this craziness?

This pasta recipe was inspired when I realized I had two ears white corn, a near wrinkly zucchini, and shiitake mushrooms lingering in the fridge as well as some cream I did not want to go bad.  I simply could not let it go to waste, now could I?  I liked what Sarah did with her recipe;  but, I thought the orecchiette that was sitting in the pantry waiting to be consumed would be a great switch up.  I adore how orecchiette cradles pieces of the sweet white corn that is mingling with the cream and garlicky shiitake.

I use to only be obsessive about the kitchen, now it has turned to laundry as well.  I must have all the clothes washed, dried and folded before I leave the house.  I attribute this to not wanting loads waiting for my return as I will already have a suitcase full.  As well I like to have all our towels and sheets washed and put into the dryer before leaving, that way when we arrive home everything is fresh.  I will stay up a bit later or get up earlier just to make sure these chores are completed.  Otherwise, when I return, I can get a bit grumpy thinking about all the things that need to be done.  I would rather come home, kick off my shoes and relax.

The other morning as I made coffee, thinking of the million and one things that I had to do before heading out, I stopped.  I opened the shades and enjoyed the morning sun.  I took the last of the eggs, cream, and bread out of the fridge and set them on the counter to make breakfast (something I rarely do before flying).  Instead of emptying the dishwasher or washing a couple lingering glasses, I poured two cups of coffee and headed back to bed.  I enjoyed the last few moments of solitude with Lenny.  After all, this is what life is really all about, being with the ones you love, and enjoying the stillness.

Guess what?  I even left a dirty spoon in the sink and old sheets on the bed.  There will always be next week.

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Orecchiette with Sweet White Corn and Shiitake Mushrooms


8 ounces orecchiette

2 ears sweet white corn

1 small zucchini

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, cleans and sliced thinly

1/2 cup half and half

How To:

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.

Drain the pasta in a colander. Lightly drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the pasta, and toss with your hands. This will prevent the pasta from sticking while you prepare the sauce.

Using a sharp knife remove the kernels from the corn by carefully running it down the sides until all the kernels are off. I do this over a very wide cutting board or into a shallow bowl. Set aside

Using a vegetable peeler make ribbons from the zucchini. Set aside.

In a large frying pan melt the butter with the olive oil.

Add the minced garlic, stir and cook 3 minutes over medium-low heat.

Add the shiitake mushrooms, stir and cook until golden brown over medium-low heat. This will take about 5 – 6 minutes.

Add the cream, stir and let cook over low heat for 3 – 5 minutes until slightly reduced.

Add the corn, stir and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the zucchini, stir and cook just until slightly wilted, about 1 – 2 minutes.

Stir in the pasta.




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