Summertime Pasta with Squash and Corn

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Looks can be deceiving. For example, the picture you see above probably looks pretty good, but not the kind of thing you’re going to e-mail to all of your friends with the subject “!!!!” and the message, “OH MY GOD WE HAVE TO MAKE THIS.”

That’s a shame because, the thing is, if you could taste a bite of the picture above, fresh out of the pan, exploding with sweet corn flavor, given depth by nicely browned squash, married all together with a pat of butter, you’d be doing cartwheels down the street, eager to get all of the ingredients to make this yourself. It’s the best bite of summer I’ve had so far, and it’s a surprising way to use ingredients that normally wind up on the grill or in a salad.

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Clams with White Wine, Sweet Corn, and Basil

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If you were to do a graph–and I’m not a graph person, so you’d have to help me out here–measuring the effort you put into a dinner vs. the pleasure you get from eating it, chances are there’d be a real corollary between the work put it in and the pleasure received (see, for example, lamb merguez with eggplant jam). Every so often, though, there’s an outlier: a recipe that’s so incredibly easy, so simple to put together, it doesn’t make sense that the results should taste as good as they do, but they do. And I’d wager that of all the recipes that fit into this tiny category, the ones at the very apex of “easy to do” and “good to eat” are recipes involving mussels and clams.

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The Porch Swing

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Looking for a refreshing summer drink? Try this one on for size. On Sunday night, we went over to our friends Mark and Diana’s and they served up a delightful twist on the Pimm’s Cup, a cocktail called The Porch Swing which they learned from Blue Smoke in New York (the restaurant that also catered their wedding). What’s nice about it is it’s not too sweet, it’s not too alcoholic, it’s not too bubbly, but it’s very satisfying on a hot day. Here’s how you make it.

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