Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Whole Wheat Spaghettini with Scallops and Arugula

I had made this recipe long ago once, and had mostly forgotten about it, but we had some arugula, and it popped into my head again. This recipe actually calls for the larger sea scallops, which you sear until crispy and brown, but we had only bay scallops, and frozen ones at that, but the recipe didn’t suffer. We also omitted the capers that the original recipe called for; I think it’s an acquired taste. All together, even with these changes, the pasta tastes good, the pepperiness of the arugula comes out against the background of the lemon. Fairly easy to make.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Scallops and Arugula
Adapted from a recipe from Williams-Sonoma
1/2 lb. bay scallops, side muscle removed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon
handful of Italian basil
5 shallots, minced
1/2 package whole wheat spaghettini
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 large bunch arugula, preferably small leaved, stems removed

Rinse the scallops and dry well with paper towels. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy fry pan over high heat, warm the olive oil until it shimmers. In batches without crowding, add the scallops and sear until nicely browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the scallops over and brown the other side, about 1 minute more. Return all the scallops to the pan, add the lemon zest and basil, and cook for a moment. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to a bowl. Reduce the heat to low and add the shallots to the pan, adding more oil, if needed. Sauté until softened, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 3 to 4 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, add the lemon juice and stock to the fry pan and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom. Simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the pasta well and add it to the fry pan. Add the scallops and any juices that have accumulated, then add the pine nuts. Toss over low heat to finish cooking the scallops and mix the ingredients, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Transfer to a warmed large, shallow bowl, add the arugula leaves and toss gently. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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