Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spaghettini with Basil, Clams, and Squash Blossoms

Squash blossoms and basil signal summer for me.  We have perfect delicate basil leaves and every indication of a huge zucchini harvest to come.  With so many squash in our future, I have no regrets sacrificing a few blossoms for this dish:
I started out with about a cup of fresh basil chiffonade, eight coarsely shredded squash blossoms, two cloves of garlic, two thirds of a cup of grated parmesan, and some cream.  Once I had my mise en place ready, I steamed one pound of manila clams in some sauvignon blanc, picked them out of their shells, and reserved the cooking liquid.  While they were steaming, I cooked about half a pound of spaghettini no. 11 (De Cecco is a good brand).  After draining the pasta, I added the garlic, reserved clam liquor, and cream to the saucepot and let it reduce to a nice thick consistency.  I added the pasta back in with the basil, blossoms, clam meat and parmesan.  With a quick toss and a sprinkle of sea salt, this quick pasta made four great first course servings.  Is your mouth watering?  Mine certainly is.