This recipe for Cascatelli with Tomatoes and Corn is the perfect recipe for showcasing this pasta's best attribute: "forkability". Little kernels of corn fresh off the cob nestle their way into this pasta shape's nooks and crannies. One forkful then scoops up the perfect bite of pasta, corn, tomato, and scallion. The texture of this Cascatelli Pasta Salad is truly unmatched.
What is Cascatelli?
It's a new pasta shape, of which I purchased 5 pounds when it first came out a few months ago. So I've been making many pasta dishes with it, including Cascatelli with Peas and Ricotta Sauce, another recipe here at On The Bias.
Cascatelli translates to "little waterfall" in Italian. Perfect description for those ruffly ridges, if you ask me.
How to make Cascatelli with Tomatoes and Corn
This recipe, though incredibly complex in both taste and texture, is incredibly simple to make. It comes together all while your water comes to a boil and Cascatelli cooks. Let me walk you through it.
Salt the tomatoes
While the pasta water heats up, heavily salt your tomatoes and set them aside. The salt needs some time to draw out lots of delicious tomato juice, which is going to be a primary flavor in the dressing.
Fry the scallion whites
While the tomatoes are resting, slice the scallions and fry them for 1 minute in ¼ cup of olive oil along with a pinch of red pepper flakes for spice. It's important you don't over-fry them! It only takes 1 minute to remove the raw onion taste and to flavor the oil without burning the scallions.
Combine the scallions and tomatoes with some other flavors.
The next step is to add the hot scallions and oil to the tomatoes. Then add the parsley, black pepper, red and white vinegar, and a secret but necessary ingredient: fish sauce! If you're allergic or want to keep this recipe completely vegetarian, leave it out. Substitute with a different umami-forward ingredient such as nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese.
Cook the Cascatelli and Corn
When the water comes to a boil, salt it heavily, so that the water tastes salty. Cook the pasta for 12 minutes, then add the corn and cook for 3 more minutes. Cascatelli really does take 15 full minutes to cook because its THICK.
Once the pasta is done, rinse it and combine with the tomato mixture. Top with the scallion greens and enjoy!
Why Rinse the Pasta?
It's true that when making a hot pasta dish, you would never rinse the pasta, because the starch from the pasta thickens the sauce and adheres it to the pasta. But making pasta salad is different. The pasta's starch would thicken that delicious dressing and dry out the whole dish.
A Video Tutorial for Cascatelli with Tomatoes and Corn
I posted a simplified version of this recipe on my TikTok. Watch here!Print
- 8 oz Cascatelli Pasta
- 1 lb grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced or cubed
- 2 ears of corn, kernels cut from cob
- 2 scallions, sliced, whites and greens separated
- ¼c olive oil
- Kosher salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
- ¼c fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 Tb fish sauce
- 1 Tb red vinegar
- 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
- Mise en place: Prepare all vegetables as described above and set them aside.
- Place tomatoes in a large bowl and season them with 1.5 teaspoons of kosher salt. Toss and set aside.
- Heat a large pot of water over high heat.
- Meanwhile, heat ¼c olive oil until hot but not smoking, add scallions and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and fry for 1 minute only. Remove from heat and add scallions and oil to the bowl of tomatoes.
- Add fish sauce, parsley, a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper, and red and white vinegar to the tomato mixture.
- Whenever the pasta water comes to a boil, season it heavily with salt so that it tastes salty, add the cascatelli, and cook for 12 minutes. Then add corn and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Drain and rinse the cascatelli and corn until cool. Toss with tomato mixture, and top with scallion greens.
Keywords: Cascatelli with Tomatoes and Corn, cascatelli pasta salad, new pasta, cascatelli recipe