August 18, 2012

Linguine & Clams

Linguine & clams is a dinner that I have wanted to do all summer long.  In May, Greg and I were stuck at the Cabo airport and I spent the time making lists of all of the parties I wanted to do this summer, and this menu was at the top of the list.  So when my friend Brittany asked me to help put together a surprise dinner party for her friend's birthday, and mentioned that pasta is her favorite, I knew this was the moment.  Italian food is just so good for a party because it's simple, seasonal and comforting to all.  Being obsessed with bright green castelvetrano olives, I've been wanting to try Chris Cosentino's roasted version from his inspiring cookbook Beginnings: they did not disappoint.  In the same way that warming nuts makes them extra special, the olives took on a deeper layer of flavor after spending fifteen minutes in a hot oven.  Unsure of what to do with the cute baby zucchini and patty pan squashes that I bought at the farmers market, I decided to fill them with the toppings I normally put on top of crostini.  I'm excited to have a new vessel for appetizers.  The menu got rounded out by some of my summer go-to sides and finished off with my new favorite dessert for entertaining.  I've been noticing semifreddos on the menus of several restaurants and pulled out a recipe that I clipped from the June 2011 Bon Appetit but had yet to try (there is a messy stack of hundreds more such clippings in my desk).  The creamy cool layers of strawberry, pistachio and vanilla were a fantastic end to an el fresco Italian summer dinner.  Click on links to the recipes for the olives & semifreddo below.
The Menu






mixed cherry tomato &  basil crostini

lemon & artichoke crostini

ricotta, sun-dried tomato & thyme stuffed squash

white beans & pepper stuffed baby zucchini


to start

cantaloupe, honeydew melon, prosciutto & mint

grilled peaches, burrata & arugula

grilled caesar salad


linguine & clams


warm espresso chocolate cookies
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1 comment: said...

ohhhh this looks delicious. What a feast!

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