This was seriously my first time cooking scallops or eating them. A surprise success!
Lemon and Wine Scallop Fettucini
1 Pound Dried Pasta
2 Tablespoons olive oil + Extra to season cast iron if you use it.
1 Tablespoon Butter
3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 Cup White Wine (Dry*)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1/4 Cup Green onion, finely sliced
1 Can of Diced Tomatoes, Drained in a strainer and seeds rinsed away under running water
Parmesan Cheese, fresh, shredded
Get a large pot of well salted water boiling on the stove.
Preheat either a stainless steel or cast iron skillet to a medium temperature. Season with oil lightly.
Remove fresh, never frozen scallops from their packaging and place on kitchen paper towels to dry off for a minute.
Once pot of water is almost boiling and skillet is well heated, melt the butter in the skillet, and season the scallops with salt and pepper while still on the kitchen paper towels. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet.
If that pot of water is boiling, add the pasta around now and let cook for about 8-9 minutes till done, or follow the package/recipe instructions for your pasta.
Place the scallops seasoned side down, without crowding the skillet, and sear for about 1 minute until there is a nice golden sear on the bottom and the bottom third of the scallops look cooked. Season tops with salt and pepper, and turn over. Sear once more for about a minute. Transfer cooked scallops to a clean plate.
Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and add the minced garlic. Saute for 2 minutes till just golden. Add the wine, lemon juice, and lemon zest, bring to a simmer and de-glaze the bottom of the skillet. Simmer wine sauce for about 2-3 minutes. Add the green onion and diced tomatoes. Stir well, reduce heat, place scallops over top of sauce and continue to simmer until pasta is cooked.
Drain cooked pasta and return to pot. Add contents of skillet to pot, toss/stir well to coat the pasta in the sauce.
Divide the pasta onto four warmed plates. Try and get the scallops divided evenly between plates, garnish plates with fresh Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve right away.
*Dry Wine means that it isn't a sweet wine.
Only buy fresh scallops from a local fish market/monger. Or from the seafood counter at your local grocery store. Fresh scallops (and all seafood really) shouldn't smell fishy when you buy it. It should smell clean and maybe lightly salty. Like ocean water. A strong fishy smell means the seafood is about ready to go off.
I rinsed the can of tomatoes in a strainer under running water just to get rid of the seeds and make the final pasta even prettier.
Scallops must be cooked in stainless steel or cast iron. A nonstick pan wont give you a nice sear and they will likely end up rubbery. Also the trick to a good sear is a hot pan, and not moving the protein until its time to flip. Plus only flip once!
This recipe would also work well with an equal weight of small bay scallops instead of the full sized scallops. Same rules apply just half the searing time for the small delicate bay scallops.
Something baked and sweet instead:
Pumpkin Spice Muffins