Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Pasta for a hot night.

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.


Ed said...

And for an even hotter night?

kitchen hand said...

Portarlington mussels in garlic and chili broth with a very cold beer, Ed.

jo said...

It's gently snowing, I have a bag of mussels sitting in the fridge awaiting a meeting with a bouquet garni and some wine with maybe a splash of cream and a long locally made baguette awaiting good full cream butter.
It works for the cold as well ;-)

kitchen hand said...

Indeed, Jo, mussels fresh from the sea are a delight any time.