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THIN SPAGHETTI WITH CREAMY CORN SAUCE

This recipe was sent to me by Halina Snider, a reader from Advance, N.C. It sounded so good -- and so quick and easy to make -- that I made it for my family for dinner the very next day. Everyone loved it and urged me to share Halina's wonderful recipe with all of my other readers all over the country. She also suggested substituting sauteed mushrooms for the ham as a vegetarian alternative, either mixed into the sauce or sprinkled over the top of the dish.

Although fresh corn on the cob is definitely the preferred ingredient in this recipe, I also tried making this one-pot dish with fresh-frozen corn kernels as a further time-saving shortcut for my working readers, who are always looking for healthy dishes they can prepare in minutes, and it was still truly delicious. I highly recommend this sauce over baked potatoes, poultry and meat, as well as pasta. It is even good thinned with another three-quarters cup of fat-free, canned evaporated milk and served as corn chowder. (This is also a great way to use up the remaining milk left in the 12-ounce can!)

THIN SPAGHETTI WITH CREAMY CORN SAUCE

4 large ears fresh sweet corn, husks and silks removed

3/4 cup fat-free, canned evaporated milk

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound thin spaghetti

1 tablespoon butter

4 ounces lean smoked ham, cut into matchstick-size pieces, 1 cup
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the corn for 4 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and set aside to cool. Save the pot of hot water to cook the spaghetti.

When the corn is cool enough to handle safely, cut the kernels off of the cobs and then scrape the tips of each cob into a bowl. You will have about 4 cups.

Combine the corn, milk, parsley, salt and pepper in a blender or a food processor and puree. You will have about 3 cups of sauce.

Bring the water back to a full boil and cook the spaghetti according to package directions, usually about 4 minutes. Drain the pasta. Use the same pot again to reheat the corn sauce. Add the ham and butter to the hot sauce and mix well.

To serve, add the cooked spaghetti to the warm sauce in the pot, mix well and spoon a generous cup of the mixture onto the plates. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains approximately 438 calories, 5 grams fat, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 440 milligrams sodium, 86 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams protein, 5 grams fiber.

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