The taste of summer is salt and brine and the faint indistinct tang of the sea coming in from a hidden bay, way down off the cliffs, or the gently roaring ocean somewhere beyond, over the other side of the peninsula.
It seems like a stretch, but you can taste that in a bowl of pasta on a hot night when the sun has almost gone except for a last tinge of gold in the tops of the trees.
Spaghetti with vongole.
Cook a scored clove of garlic in a little oil, add a dash of white wine, two cups of diced tomatoes, some torn basil and salt and pepper.
When simmering nicely, add 500g of clams. Most clams from the market are grit-free, but if not, first soak in a bucket of water for at least half an hour. They will expel the grit. They must know. Cook for a minute or two until the clams open up. Toss out any unopened ones.
Cook 250g of pasta. I use my favourite bavette - or linguine - and when cooked to your liking, drain and combine with the sauce. More torn basil over the top (right now, ours is growing as fast as we can eat it - pesto, here we come) and a shower of cracked black pepper.
Simple green salad on the side, along with a nice cold buttery chardonnay and some crusty bread for the salty, briny sauce.
It's dark now and the ocean is louder than before. It will be another hot day tomorrow.