pesto pasta with mozzarella and corn recipe

Pesto Pasta with Corn and Mozzarella

  • Author: Kate Morgan Jackson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


This easy recipe for pesto pasta with corn and mozzarella cheese takes full advantage of some great fresh summer ingredients for a delicious supper. It’s a great way to use that basil and fresh corn while it is still in abundance!


  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 12 ounces short pasta (we like cavatappi!)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (you can use little mozzarella balls, or you can cut up mozzarella into cubes)
  • Kernels from two ears of corn (see note)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the walnuts, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 cups basil leaves and the chopped garlic in your food processor.  Give it a whirl until it is chopped, then pour the olive oil in through the feeding tube until it forms a smooth mixture.  Taste and add some salt if you think you need it.  Set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water until it is done.  Scoop out a cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.
  3. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the mozzarella and toss.  Add the pesto mixture by spoonfuls, tossing and tasting as you go, until it tastes the way you like it.  Drizzle in that pasta water as needed to make a light sauce.
  4. Divide among plates, garnishing with a little more Parmesan, some basil leaves and some freshly ground pepper.


We like using the fresh sweet corn raw in this recipe, but if you want your corn cooked, add it to the pasta during the last minute of cooking and let it drain with the pasta.