Rigatoni with Corn Sauce & Sizzled Corn

This creamy but creamless pasta boasts a miso-smooched, sunny-coloured sauce that hugs the noodles much like an alfredo

Serves 4


  • 6 ears corn, shucked
  • 3 tbsp shiro miso (white miso)
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 455g (1lb) rigatoni
  • Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)


  1. Fill a stockpot with water and set over high heat to come to a boil.
  2. Use a chef’s knife to cut the kernels off the corn; set the kernels aside. Now, use the blunt edge of your knife to scrape the naked cobs, yielding a milky ‘mush’ on your cutting board. Transfer that mush to a blender along with the miso, 2 tablespoons of the oil and a pinch of salt.
  3. Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. When that’s melted, add half of the corn kernels and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is toasty and browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  4. When the water reaches a boil, generously season it with salt. Add the remaining raw kernels and cook for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to transfer the kernels to the blender. (Keep the water over high heat; we’re using it again in a second.) Process the kernels until smooth, then season with salt to taste. Cover the blender to keep the mixture warm.
  5. When the water returns to a boil, add the rigatoni. Cook for 8 to 14 minutes, until al dente. Turn off the heat and drain.
  6. Combine the drained pasta and misocorn sauce in the emptied stockpot and toss. Season with salt to taste — be generous here to balance the sweetness — then transfer to a platter or plates. Top with the crispy corn. You can add black pepper or red pepper flakes if you want, but we like to let the corn shine on its own.

Recipe from Food52 Big Little Recipes by Emma Laperruque, copyright © 2021 by Food52 Inc. (Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.). Photographs copyright © James Ransom.