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One Pot Wonders: Clams with Linguine, Garlic, and Summer Tomatoes
I would argue that July and August are easily two of the best food months of the year thanks to the variety of fruits and vegetables at their peak (at least in the Northeast). Peaches, plums, apricots, all types of squash—avocado, summer, zucchini— fairytale eggplants, the list goes on, and includes one of my personal favorites: tomatoes. July is just the beginning of the reign of the tomato, with the arrival of sweet, delicate Sungolds, filled with a juicy pulp just waiting to burst out —these are what makes summer great, and what takes this recipe to the next level.
Of course, you can make this simple linguine with clams any time of year, as cherry or grape tomatoes are easy to find, but Sungolds are packed with flavor and have a gorgeous color that elevates this dish from its winter counterpart.
If you're going to turn the oven on, to make say, roasted summer squash or zucchini, then you might consider lopping off the top of a head of garlic, sprinkling it with a little salt and olive oil and wrapping it in foil and roasting it until the cloves become soft and creamy. You can add a few of the cloves to the finished pasta, or use them in place of butter, as they'll spread easily to create a healthier, dairy-free alternative with tons of flavor. (Note: You will probably only want to do this with close friends or loved ones.) If you're adventurous, you could even mix the cloves with butter to make a compound butter spread for toasted bread.
But you can just make this pasta dish with a light summer salad filled with raw, fresh corn cut right off the cob, creamy avocado, and any leftover tomatoes you have on hand to complete the meal. This recipe has a lot of depth of flavor for such a quick-cooking dish, thanks to the aromatics (onion, garlic), plus the wine that's used to deglaze the pan. Adding half of the tomatoes during the cooking process adds even more depth, which contrasts nicely with the fresh tomatoes and parsley used at the end. Plus, it's fast, easy, healthy, and can all be made in one pot with minimal effort in about 20 minutes (trust me, anyone can master this dish).
I'm sure others have a favorite season rooted in a certain fruit or vegetable, but for me, the late summer months are always the best.
About the Author: Yasmin Fahr is a food lover, writer, and cook. Follow her @yasminfahr for more updates on her eating adventures and discoveries, which will most likely include tomatoes. And probably feta. Happy eating!
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