6 ounces small whole-wheat pasta such as reginetti or elbows (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 to 5 ears) or thawed frozen corn kernels
4 tablespoons crema Mexicana or sour cream
4 tablespoons light mayonnaise
½ teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, grated
4 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook pasta according to package directions. Drain thoroughly; spread in an even layer on a baking sheet to cool.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn; cook, undisturbed, until blistered, about 2 minutes. Stir and spread into an even layer; cook, stirring every 2 minutes, until charred in many spots, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet with the pasta. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine crema (or sour cream), mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, salt, garlic, 2 tablespoons cotija, 1 tablespoon cilantro and 1/8 teaspoon paprika together in a large bowl; whisk until well combined.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of the crema mixture in a small bowl. Add the pasta-corn mixture to the remaining crema mixture in the large bowl; toss to combine. Transfer to a platter or bowl. Drizzle with the reserved 2 tablespoons crema mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cotija, 1 tablespoon cilantro and 1/8 teaspoon paprika.