BYLINES BY SCOTT
JOEY CAMPANARO’S SUMMER SPAGHETTI
Growing up working near the shore, chef Joey Campanaro revels in his passion for the Hamptons, especially Sag Harbor, with its farmstands, fresh bounty, and local catch. His love of seafood—specifically clams, which he calls “every chef’s favorite ingredient”—inspired his newest venture, Quality Clam in NYC. Sample a taste of Campanaro’s favorite summer dishes at the inaugural GrillHampton event on July 12.
What brings you out East?
JOEY CAMPANARO: I love being by the shore. The ocean gives me peace; it’s very romantic.
You spent some time working in the Jersey Shore: Any comparisons to your time out East?
JC: Every place is different. The Jersey Shore is special to me as I spent formidable years there.
What is your favorite town?
JC: Sag Harbor.
Any chance for a Campanaro outpost here?
JC: I’d love to open a quality clam restaurant with my business partner, Mikey Price.
We hear there’s a new concept on the horizon?
JC: I am developing a brand called Quality Clam to celebrate the most sustainable organism on the planet: clams. They are delicious and don’t need to be served in a shack. My signature style for service is not white-glove; it is sophisticated, stylish, caring, and fun.
What inspired you to cook?
JC: The female gender inspires me. Women are interested in what they consume more so than men. I feel like if I can satisfy a woman, then what I can put on a plate will be fine for men.
The East End is known for amazing images and landscapes that are photographed and painted. As an artist in the kitchen, what location would inspire a great dish?
JC: Sag Harbor Marina is close to my heart. I would definitely hook up some sort of clams and crabs dish—perhaps with some baked seafood, corn, and tomato salad.
The summer bounty out East is so abundant, what are some of your favorite summer ingredients?
JC: Corn, tomatoes, crabs, artichokes, peaches, asparagus, peas, and fava beans.
Do you have a favorite spot to get ingredients to cook with on the East End?
JC: If I am cruising around and see a farmstand, I’ll make a stop—even if I don’t have to buy anything. I love searching for local honey; I have an obsession with it.
What is your favorite Summer Wine?
JC: Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo Il Mimo Nebbiolo Rosato Colline Novaresi.
You are cooking at the GrillHampton event in Bridgehampton, what made you compete?
JC: I never consider these types of events competition—for me it is an exhibition.
You’re known for so many great dishes, what inspired the famous Little Owl Meatballs?
JC: I wanted people to feel comfortable eating with their hands and offer something soul satisfyingly delicious.
What is your favorite seafood to grill during a beach cookout?
JC: I love to grill clams and soft shell crabs.
When not in the kitchen, what is your perfect day?
JC: Going on a boat, playing ping pong, and meeting interesting and nice people.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be & what would you serve?
JC: Ray Charles—fried chicken, collard greens, dirty rice with gravy, and pecan pie for dessert.
If you could cook with anyone, who would it be?
JC: Jacque Pepin—I would like to recreate some of the original dishes he made for Howard Johnson’s.
What does being a chef mean to you?
JC: Even-tempered, creative, easily understood, professional, fun, and focused on hospitality and profitability.
With clams, anchovies, vegetables, and grilled soft-shell crab
2 soft-shell crabs, cleaned
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. parsley
Lemon for zesting
2 tbsp. chili flakes
2 tbsp. butter
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
6 basil leaves
Splash white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis)
8 top neck clams
¼ cup corn, shucked
¼ cup peas
½ lb. spaghetti
3 tbsp. pecorino Romano, grated
Marinate the crabs in olive oil and 1 tbsp. chopped garlic, parsley, lemon zest, and chili flakes. In a heavy-bottom sauce pot, add butter, remaining chopped garlic, chili flakes, and anchovies. Sautéuntil garlic browns, but do not burn. Add tomatoes, basil, white wine, clams, corn, and peas; cover and simmer until clams open. While that’s cooking, drop spaghetti in boiling water. (Salt the water once it comes to a boil and before dropping in the spaghetti.) Stir well to prevent spaghetti from sticking. Drain pasta after 8–9 minutes. Toss well with clams, and pecorino. Top with grilled soft-shell crabs.
Read the Article at Hamptons-Magazine.com HERE.