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Overhead shot of a cast iron skillet full of pasta with corn zucchini and tomatoes.
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5 from 2 votes

Pasta with Corn, Bacon, Tomatoes and Zucchini

A simple combination of pasta with corn, bacon, tomatoes and zucchini in a creamy sauce with Parmesan and herbs makes a delicious 30-minute meal!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword bacon, creamy, creamy corn pasta with basil, pasta with corn, pasta with corn and tomatoes, zucchini recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 592kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 3 ears of corn (about 2 cups kernels)
  • 1 lb. mezzi rigatoni pasta (or other pasta of choice)
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil


  • Cut the kernels from the corn cobs and place the kernels in a large bowl. Run the back of your knife down the corn cobs to scrape off any corn milk; add the corn milk to the bowl with the kernels. Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain.
  • Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the drippings in the skillet.
  • Add the butter to the pan and melt over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels with the corn milk, zucchini, garlic and salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the corn and zucchini are crisp-tender, about 7-10 minutes. Add tomatoes, cooked pasta, heavy cream, and Parmesan. Cook for another few minutes, until completely warmed through and combined. Add reserved pasta cooking water, as necessary, to thin until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
  • Taste and season with additional kosher salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle cooked bacon and fresh basil on top. Serve with additional grated Parmesan.


  • Use the freshest ingredients available for the best flavor. I like to make this pasta during the summer months when I have easy access to sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini and fresh herbs.
  • The corn milk that you scrape off of the cobs is starchy and sweet, adding more flavor to the pasta and acting as a thickening agent for the sauce. Don't skip this step!
  • Use freshly-grated Parmesan (not the canned pre-grated stuff), and make sure that it's shredded to a very fine consistency on a microplane or on the smallest side of a box grater. This will ensure that the Parmesan melts smoothly into the cream sauce.
  • Do not substitute with half-and-half or whole milk in this sauce. The heavy cream provides the best texture and flavor, and is the least likely to separate when simmered in the skillet.
  • Make sure that the cream is at room temperature when you add it to the skillet. This will help to prevent it from curdling or separating in the pan.


Serving: 1/6 of the recipe | Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 601mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 825IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 2mg