Posted by: Food Lover | January 8, 2013

Scallops and Pasta

Scallop Pasta

This is a favorite pasta dish we make at home. Note that we don’t measure everything, we tend to go by eye. There’s no right or wrong, just what you personally like.

Pasta Ingredients:
• Six to eight large, Atlantic scallops
    good quality frozen scallops are fine, but note that you need to thaw well in advance and pat dry extra well)

• paprika hot or mild depending on your taste
• black pepper or shichimi (Japanese Hot Pepper Spice –

• asparagus – cut into 1 inch pieces
• pancetta – chopped if it isn’t already
• vidalia onion – sliced
• garlic – chopped
• yellow pepper – sliced
• approximately 1/3 cup extra virgin garlic infused olive oil (we make our own, but any good quality commercial version is fine)
• 1 TBSP butter
• linguine or spaghetti
• good quality fresh Parmesan cheese (grated)

Pat scallops dry then sprinkle liberally with a combination of paprika, seasoning salt (any of your favourite commercial mixes will work fine) and pepper (fresh cracked black pepper works – for the recipe featured here we used a Japanese pepper called Shichimi). Set aside.

Pour 2 TBSP olive oil in small pan and set aside for scallops later. Pour remainder of the olive oil in a larger skillet and set aside (for flash cooking pancetta and vegetables).

Chop the vegetables for flash frying. Not too small as you want them to be hot, but still crisp. Note that as much as we love caramalized onions we prefer a crisp, cooked onion for this recipe. When vegetables are chopped, boil the salted water for the pasta. Once the pasta begins cooking, pre-heat your scallops pan. Once the olive oil is hot add the butter and melt. Once the butter begins to foam add the scallops. Cook for approximately 6 minutes – 3 minutes per side (or a bit longer if they’re extra big). This results in a nicely seared and rare scallop, which is our strong preference.

While scallops and pasta are cooking, preheat the larger skillet. Once the olive oil is hot, but not smoking, add all the pancetta and cook until it just starts to crisp. This doesn’t take long in the hot oil, so watch the pancetta carefully. When cooked to your liking remove the pancetta and set aside.

Add the vegetables to the oil and pancetta fat at once and sauté. Once the veggies are turned and coated, we add a bit of salt and sugar (less sugar if the onions and pepper are naturally more sweet). We prefer to sauté with no lid, but if you like your veggies a bit softer you can add a bit of water and put a lid on near the end of the cooking and steam for about a minute. We cook the veggies for about 3 – 4 minutes.

The real key here is timing. You want the scallops and veggies to finish when you’ve drained the pasta.

At that point plate the pasta, pour over the veggies and oil, top with pancetta and grated cheese. Add scallops on the side, a nice bottle of your favourite wine, some crusty bread for mopping up the oil, and enjoy.

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