No, we have not forgotten our promise to tell you more about our culinary adventures in New Orleans. We ate and drank our way through the city, took plenty of photos, spent time with wonderful friends, and now that we're home safe and sound, we need some time to organize our thoughts (and those photos!). So we will come back to that.
But having indulged in Southern style cuisine for all that time, for last night's dinner we wanted something lighter than what we've been eating. Chris went out to buy some produce and along with it, a pound of teeny tiny heart-shaped cockles that he thought would be great in a summery pasta dish. We used a garlic-parsley angel hair we bought at the farmers market a few weeks ago and made a tangy sweet sauce with Sicilian lemon vinegar. Garlic added a much-needed kick and lemon zest boosted the fresh, light flavor. We liked it a lot, but might try it with some red pepper flakes next time. Can't find lemon vinegar? Use white wine vinegar and add a bit of lemon juice. Plain angel hair will work nicely as well.
Summer Corn and Cockles Pasta
(makes a light dinner for two or
four appetizer-sized plates)
2 nests garlic-parsley angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pound cockles in the shell
1 ear of fresh corn, kernels shaved off
1 teaspoon lemon vinegar
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Prepare the angel hair according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cockles and cook, shaking the pan often, until cockles begin to open. Add the corn kernels and vinegar and continue to shake the skillet to incorporate. Gently stir in the simple syrup and lemon zest and give it a couple of last shakes, cooking until all cockles are open. Set aside. Drain pasta and toss in cockles and sauce. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.
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