City Paper is not for tourists
The Dish: Sweet Corn Cavatelli
Where to Get It: Beuchert’s Saloon, 623 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
What It Is: A Mexican street corn dish known as elote inspires this summery plate of cavatelli pasta. To make it, Chef Andrew Markert takes corn off the cob, juices it, and uses the liquid to make the pasta dough along with flour, salt, pepper, and eggs. The short, squiggly noodles are topped with jalapeños that have been cooked in olive oil to take some of the sting away, crumbled queso fresco, popped sorghum, and a little lime zest for a touch of citrus. “We’ve done some corn dishes in the past that were whole ears of corn, but lately we’ve been doing more elevated, refined ideas,” he says.
The Story: Markert has fond memories of watching movies with his dad. “There was always a bucket of popcorn between us,” he says. The chef had an urge to top this dish with popcorn for crunch, but the size would have thrown off the proportions of the dish. He opted for popped sorghum instead, which looks like shrunken popcorn. “The seed looks like a small piece of coriander and it pops up really good,” he says.
Why Even Meat Eaters Will Like It: The fresh corn flavor is explosive and the various textures are fun for the tongue. Beuchert’s Saloon has always done a bang up job of sourcing pristine produce and you can really taste it in this dish and others found in the “farm stand” section of the menu. As we enter the dog days of summer, pastas smothered in ragus feel a little too heavy. “It’s been pretty popular and I like tasting it every night to make sure it’s good,” Markert jokes.