Corn Fettuccine

1 pound fettuccine
6 slices smoky bacon, chopped
6 ears corn on the cob, shucked
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cream
1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
A few dashes hot sauce or 1 or 2 pinches cayenne pepper
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup torn sweet basil leaves

Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium heat. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook a few minutes until rendered and crisp. Scrape corn off ears. Add 3/4 of the scraped corn and any corn liquid to the pan with the bacon. Add the shallots and red pepper and liberally season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the remaining corn and half the cream to a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the stock or wine into the corn and vegetables, and simmer over low heat for a minute to reduce. Stir in the thyme and corn-cream mixture and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken. Add the hot sauce or cayenne, the rest of the cream and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Drain the pasta and add it to a large serving bowl. Pour in the sauce, add a couple of handfuls of cheese, about 1/2 cup and toss. Top with torn basil or chopped tarragon and pass the remaining cheese at the table.

-Carol Novak/adapted from Rachael Wray's recipe