This post is sponsored by Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics, thank you for supporting the brands that support Abra’s Kitchen. As always all thoughts, opinions, recipes, and musings are my own.
Welcome to day 5 of #AKSeafoodWeek 2019 we are ending seafood week on a serious high note, hello scallop pasta!
In my Instagram poll this week, about what kind of seafood recipes you were most interested in, the big winner was scallop recipes.
Scallops are truly the simplest thing to make at home and yet they seem like the kind of dish you only order in restaurants. Let's dive into this simple recipe today so you can become a scallop making master!
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE PAN SEARED SCALLOP PASTA
This is not the complete list but a highlight of the main ingredients used to make this recipe
- Scallops – I used Alaskan Weathervane Sea Scallops, see below for a guide on the different types of scallops
- Pasta – I used spaghetti, but linguini or bucatini would also work
- Garlic and shallot
- Parsley – You will need a good amount, and this is not optional
- Dry vermouth, or white wine
- Anchovies (optional)
- Crushed red pepper, and lemon zest.
TOOLS YOU'LL NEED
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SCALLOPS?
Bay scallops are much smaller than sea scallops, they are sweet and tender. Sea scallops are larger, preferable for pan-searing, but also sweet and tender. I find bay scallops to be better in soups, chowders, and gratin recipes whereas I use sea scallops for any seared scallop recipe.
The terms “diver” and “dayboat” refer to the fishing method. Diver scallops are fished by hand, while dayboat scallops are fished via a boat that must return within 24 hours of departing (thus assuring the freshness of the scallops as they won't be stored on the boat as long as more traditional scallop fishing trips).
This distinction refers to the method in which scallops are handled when they are sold. Wet scallops are treated and soaked with phosphates whereas dry scallops are not. The wet method adds water weight to the scallops, and tend to be less flavorful and tougher. Dry scallops are far preferred.
TIPS TO MAKE PERFECT PAN-SEARED SCALLOPS
- Thoroughly pat dry your scallops, you want to begin with a dry scallop
- Season with salt
- In a large saute pan heat olive oil and butter, once the fat begins to smoke, add the scallops to the pan making sure they aren't touching.
- Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes per side.
- Do not overcook! They should have a lightly golden crust on each side.
MORE SEAFOOD RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE
If you make this recipe or any of the #AKSeafoodWeek recipes be sure to tag me on Instagram @abrapappa with the hashtag #AKSeafoodWeek and don't forget to enter the giveaway on this Instagram post for a chance to win a Holiday Vital Box filled with delicious seafood!
Pan-Seared Scallops with Lemon Parsley Pasta
Tender seared scallops tossed with herby spaghetti and finished with lemon zest.
Prepare scallops by lying them out single layer on a paper towel and drying then well. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Put a large pot of water on to boil, once the water comes to a boil add a generous amount of salt (the water should taste like seawater). Add spaghetti and cook for 1 minute less than package instructions recommend, spaghetti should be al dente and a litltle underdone. You will continue to cook in the sauce. RESERVE THE PASTA WATER!
In the meantime, place a large skillet on the stovetop and heat to medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. Once the fat in the pan begins to smoke slightly gently add the scallops to the pan. Do not allow the scallops to touch each other. Sear for 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until very lightly golden brown. Remove scallops from pan and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the additional olive oil and butter. Reduce heat to medium and add the shallots, garlic, and crushed red pepper to the pan. Stir frequently for 3 minutes.
Add anchovies to the pan, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon and allowing them to just melt into the mixture. This will take about 3 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the vermouth (or white wine), using a wooden spoon to release all of the bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the alcohol to burn off and the liquid reduce by one half.
Add 1/2 cup chopped parsley to the pan and stir well.
In this next step, you want to work quickly. Using tongs transfer the spaghetti to the saucepan and stir well to coat all the noodles in the sauce. Add 1 ladle of salty starchy pasta water and incorporate into the noodles and sauce. The pasta water will make the sauce creamy and luscious. Add the scallops back to the pasta and gently stir around.
Add more water as needed so the pasta is super creamy and sauced.
Finish the pasta by adding the remaining parsley and lemon zest on top. Serve immediately.
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