Thursday, July 8, 2010

Linguine with Scallops & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

If you liked this recipe, you'll probably like this one too. Most of the ingredients are the same and it has the same feel. The differences: scallops instead of chicken and sun-dried tomatoes instead of lemon juice. Otherwise.... the ingredients are the same. Hmm... weird. Maybe these recipes came from the same place....

Linguine with Scallops and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (and pine nuts)

1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 lb. linguine
6 Tb. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. sea scallops
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into small pieces
6 cloves of garlic, minced
6 Tb. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. dried red-pepper flake

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the pine nuts in the oven until golden brown, about 8 minutes. I omitted this step because I didn't use pine nuts.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until done. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tb. of oil in a large non-stick pan over moderately high heat until very hot. Season the scallops with salt. Put the scallops in the pan and sear until brown on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and sear until brown on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove the scallops and cut them into quarters. I left them whole.

In the same pan, heat the remaining 5 Tb. oil over moderate heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic, 2 Tb. of the parsley, the red-pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant. Toss with the pasta, scallops, pine nuts if using and remaining parsley.

Look at all the pretty colors!

If I could eat pasta every day, I probably would. Something about starchy noodles that I love. Maybe it's the carbs because I'd also eat bread every day too if I could. I think I'm living in the wrong country. Italy, here I come!

This dish, without a distinct sauce, ends up being kind of a lighter and simpler dish. The garlic and red pepper flakes definitely come through in the background. Of course you can change the amount of heat by adjusting the amount of red-pepper flakes. I'm sure I used more than a 1/2 tsp. But what I really love about this dish are the sun-dried tomatoes. They add a kind of tangy sweetness.

The linguine, with a winder noodle, is able to hold on better to the pan flavorings than a spaghetti or other thin noodle. It would be good to try a splash of balsamic vinegar for next time. It might add a little bit more of a sauce to the pasta if you like that and add another depth of flavor.

Of course you could serve this with chicken, but scallops are also sweet and a lighter protein that pairs well with dish. And it's easy to prepare. I put all the garlic, tomatoes and parsley into a cup so they're ready to throw in the pan. That helps with the preparation. Not a technically difficult dish to make and with the scallops it comes across as a fancy dish. Maybe a good entertaining meal?

Happy cooking!

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