Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spaghetti with bacon, leeks and clams

Last night I went to the beach bar here by the lake to have a quick drink and —as it often happens at the Bar Lido— one quick drink turned into many and I spent there a few hours downing spritz and chatting with the locals. I find myself in a weird 'in between' status here, where technically I'm not a local (not only I'm not from the village, I'm not even Swiss), but in actuality I hang out at said bar so much I've come to know many by name. 

It was a beautiful night, with the sun setting behind the mountains and the lake reflecting the light all around us. It was also chilly, as a northern wind picked up and made me shiver first and grab a jacket second. It was right then and there that I started realizing that summer is almost over. It struck me as funny because for the past eight years, I experienced no such change. Or at least I didn't experience such an obvious one for, no matter what people think, season do change in Florida. The changes are subtle, but they are there.

Here on the other hand, it was August 30th and, after a day of beautiful sun that screamed summer, a brisk breeze reminded me that summer won't last much longer. And here's the kicker. After having bitched and moaned that I love the cold and I don't mind summer being over for eight years, last night I found myself feeling a little sad, as if I were not ready to let go of the summer quite yet. It was a fleeting feeling, one that lasted only a few seconds, before the realization that all the things I love about winter are about to start happening around me. But it was there nevertheless. 

So when I came home I decided to make myself a dish that put together a little bit of summer —clams— and a little bit of fall —bacon and leeks. It was just what I needed. Only a few spoonfuls made me realize that yes, summer is almost over, but it was a great one and there will be more great ones in the future. And also that fall is almost here, and I've always loved the fall, so at least I have something to look forward to.

(Serves 4)

1 box spaghetti
2 1/2 pounds clams, washed and ready to use
3 leeks
6 ounces good quality bacon, cut into strips
A glass of dry white wine
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place washed clams in a large skillet and pour wine over them. Cook over medium high heat until clams open. Discard those that don't. Reserve the cooking liquid and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package direction, adding the clams cooking liquid to the pot.

Wash and cut leeks into this strips. Saute them together with bacon over medium low heat with a little olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add clams, stir well together and remove from heat.

When pasta is ready, add it to the skillet, mix well with sauce over medium heat and serve immediately.


  1. Gimme, gimme, gimme. Please? Because I'm hungry and have no motivation and I think it's hummus and Triscuit night.

  2. I am over summer. Tomatoes beat me by a definite K.O. and I'm ready to roll into fall then winter. Cassoeula anyone?

  3. Kitchen Witch,
    it happens to me all the time when I visit your blog in the morning. You make me want to have some awesome spicy Indian dish at 8 am =)

    wanna come over for risotto instead? I make a killer risotto just like my dad makes it... it's a MIlanese thing =)



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