TUNA AND PESTO PASTA
4 ears tender, sweet corn
Leaves from 1 bunch basil
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 medium garlic clove
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup pine nuts or almonds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna
1 pound farfalle pasta
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
Chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Blanch the corn in a large pot of boiling water until barely cooked, about 4 minutes. Cut the kernels off the cobs and set aside. Also scrape the cobs to get the additional 2 tablespoons of corn "scrapings" to use in the pesto.
The pesto: Pick the basil leaves, then rinse and shake dry. In a food processor, process the basil leaves, shallots, garlic, ginger, nuts and reserved corn scrapings with 6 tablespoons of the oil until fairly smooth. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. If the pesto is too thick, drizzle in the additional 2 tablespoons oil as needed while processing to make a medium-thick pesto. Should make a generous 1 cup. If there is less because of the size of the basil bunch, adjust the amount of pasta added so there is enough pesto for the pasta.
Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the tuna well with salt and pepper. Add a touch of oil to the hot skillet and sear the tuna quickly on all sides, leaving the interior rare. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water when you drain the pasta.
Assembling the pasta: Toss the pasta with the pesto, stir in the corn and tomatoes. Add some of the pasta water as needed for more moisture and desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cut the tuna into 1/4-inch slices and fan on top of the pasta. Garnish with sprigs of basil or optional chopped parsley. Serves 4 to 6