alle vongole


seems fallish out there, i hadn't heard the rain on the roof since april and that has got to be some kind of portlandish record. took a nap but as naps go, this wasn't what you might call royal. tree trimmers and their mulch machine. the rain made me think of the lovin' spoonfuls and from there it was but a small step to the kitchen to see what might be hanging around. tomatoes by the kitchen window. and, oh, i almost forgot, there are roasteds in the fridge from a week ago. i kept them in olive oil, they'll be terrific to make sauce from. roast garlic, half a jar of anchovies, lemon verbena, salt. in it all goes to the blender and then through the strainer. and then the very very fine mesh sieve. out comes the sauce. a little more salt, some pepper, some rosemary, some thyme and back on the stove for a simmer. to reduce and condense. still it'll only be sauce. so, turn off the heat, jump into lola (my benz coupe) and go get manillas. those fabulously tiny and tasty clams of japanese origin. alas, by now they're everywhere, this coast, that coast, now even farmed from seattle. i do three dozen all by myself, but i'm hungry. and they're teensy. a spoon of olive oil for the pan, the clams will stew in their own juice inside three minutes, so, shake the pan, rattle the pot and see how they open. their liquid will be salty and sandy likely, but i strain an addle of a ladle through the melitta to losen the sauce, which by now is creamy and virtually set. so now for the noodles. i'll do durum hand-mades, inky-dinky black squid linguine, 'la campofilone', or at my house 'il macchiaiolo'. add the filtered clam water to the boil and the pasta will be done in a few. martha like, acutely al dente.


even if you plate the stuff with care - and who does? - it'll be a mess after the first bite. ah, but what a mess. a glass of barbera d'alba piemonte will make those clams swim, and me, i'm in heaven.