Corn for the Dentally Challenged

In my mind, it’s pretty much sacrilegious to suggest doing a single thing to sweet, fresh, summer corn besides enjoy it on the cob, slathered in butter with a little salt and pepper. But when one is sharing a house with a first and second grader whose grins periodically resemble Leon Spinks’, it can be challenging to be a purist on this point. Concessions must be made.

A tooth-fairy-approved fall-back plan (that is, if you want to do more than simply shave the kernels off the cob and hand the kid a spoon) is this simple dish, which calls for 3 to 4 pieces of bacon, but you could go with two and it will still be as delicious. The best part? You don’t need teeth to eat it.

Pasta with Corn and Bacon

Cook 1 pound of spaghetti, fettucini, or angel hair as directed. When drained, toss with a little bit of olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking. Meanwhile, in a deep skillet, fry 3 to 4 pieces of bacon (country ham is pictured) over medium heat. Remove when crisp and chop after they’ve cooled. Wipe up some of the bacon grease in the pan with a paper towel, then add 1/2 large onion (chopped) and the raw scraped-off kernels from 4 ears of fresh corn. Fry in the fat until onions are cooked through and corn is cooked and slightly crispy. Add a hefty dose of shredded Parmesan and stir again. Divide your cooked pasta between four bowls, add corn-onion mixture, bacon crumbles, more Parmesan, freshly ground pepper, and some chopped basil. Depending on the bacon you use, you might have to add some salt at the table.

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That looks wonderful. I know a three-year-old corn fanatic that would gobble this up. I’ll have to give it a shot!

Got my Make Dinner bumper sticker, BTW. Now there is one more mom-mobile in CO sporting the slogan. Thanks!

Serge Lescouarnec

In my restaurant years always had a few soft and tender options at the ready.
I could not have kept a handwritten diary of my meals as you did, poor handwriting.
I write about Food, Wine, Travel on ‘Serge the Concierge’ since March 2005 and for the past few months started posting weekly interviews on Wednesdays.

A bientot

‘The French Guy from New Jersey’


I had been contemplating making a meal like this, and now you’ve given me the motivation I need to get out and do it! Thanks!

ron lieber

i had the sweet corn frozen custard at shake shack today. easily the best frozen dessert of the summer so far. now there’s an idea for a teeth free use of corn.


I love your site! Found it via the NY Times story and I might try to start keeping a nightly food journal.

I was all set to make this recipe w/ some bacon leftover from last Saturday morning’s pancakes. But my husband ate it! So I adapted and used ham and frozen corn. It was enough to please mom, dad, 3 yr old and 1 yr old – cannot wait to make it w/ fresh corn and bacon.

Love these kinds of easily adaptable recipes!

my name is ish

this isn’t for the dentally challenged (unless you cut it up), but last night, we had a white pizza from arizmendi bakery in oakland with corn, a tiny bit of thinly sliced red onion and then a side of pesto that you spread across the pizza once hot. It would never have occurred to me to put corn on a pizza (or to spread the pesto on at the end). It was excellent!


Made this last night. LOVED IT!!! My picky child ate it GREAT. My not as picky child did pretty good, to. Best thing of all – leftovers for lunch today. I used applewood smoked bacon, nitrate free from TJ’s. Even my picky husband who doesn’t like the marriage of fruit and meat no matter how minimal it is – thought the bacon was great. Thanks for another great recipe. 🙂


Standing at the fridge just staring at the contents when I remembered seeing this post. Made it for dinner and the whole family loved it. My oldest asked if we could have it again tomorrow. Thanks!


Fantastic! The whole family loved it. A little trick re: removing corn from the cob learned from one of my favorite (now out of print) cookbooks, Blue Corn and Chocolate. Once you’ve cut the corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife, turn the knife around to the blunt edge and run it down the cob again on all sides. It forces all the the remaining sweet, pulpy liquid out of the cob. Too yummy to leave behind, especially if you’re making a chowder or something where a little extra flavorful liquid would come in handy. Thanks for another great recipe.


I tried this recipe last night, as I was tired of having corn on the cob. It was a huge hit with the whole family. Great flavor with cooking the onions & corn in the bacon fat. Yum!!


I do sort of pre-plan meals since we very seldom eat out. Lucky for me my fmlaiy is very easy to please so it is not a struggle for me. If you have a slow cooker you should try using it. You would be surprised how simple you can make “the meat” of your meal in it. I think if you give DJ 2 choices ahead of time and he picks one then you will have something to work with instead of trying to figure out what to make at the last minute. It is actually tricking him since he thinks he gets to choose from the two options you give him. If all else fails you just mnake him eat what is on his plate!