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Rigatoni with Charred Corn, Sweet Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, and Bacon

Servings: 4 to 6

While you could simply sauté the corn, the char from grilling gives this dish smoky depth of flavor. While the grill is hot, put on some bread to serve on the side.


  • 4 medium ears corn, shucked
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for grilling
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (about 2-1/4 cups)
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves (about 1-1/2 oz.), large leaves torn, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 lb. thick-cut bacon (6 to 7 slices), cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, finely chopped (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. rigatoni or ziti
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 440
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 140
  • Fat (g): 16
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 15
  • Sodium (mg): 600
  • Carbohydrates (g): 60
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Sugar (g): 7
  • Protein (g): 16


  • Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) gas- or charcoal-grill fire, or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the corn with just enough oil to lightly coat. Grill, turning occasionally, until charred in spots and tender, 17 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. In a small bowl, gently combine the tomatoes, 2 Tbs. of the oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 5 basil leaves. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cobs (you should have about 2 cups). In a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl lined with paper towels. Pour off all but 2 Tbs. fat from the skillet.
  • Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the onion to the hot skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the corn, the tomato mixture, bacon, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a generous pinch of pepper just to combine. Remove from the heat.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta, and transfer to a large bowl. Add the corn mixture and the remaining basil; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, topped with cheese, if you like, and garnished with basil.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • Lpilon | 07/20/2020

    Meh, didn't think it was fabulous. Good way to use rampant basil plants mid-summer. Used shells which worked well to catch corn. (My husband also went back and finished the batch.) I'll make it again but will save some pasta water to loosen Might add a few pitted, halved kalamatas, maybe instead of bacon.

  • bobbiega | 08/20/2019

    Great recipe - enjoyed all of the fresh, summer vegetables and basil. Will definitely made this again.

  • litlfilly | 07/25/2019

    Made this as a side dish to the perfect pork tenderloin with Orange Balsamic glaze and it was delicious! Made it as is and my non-tomato-eaters ate it UP!

  • rockycat | 07/12/2019

    This was a wonderful recipe.. . . used mini penne instead of the rigatoni (easier, it was in the pantry). Fresh Jersey corn. . . .mmm, mmm, good. First time I've seen my husband go back for thirds.

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