Friday, May 18

Angel Hair Pasta with Scallops and Arugula

 This is such a wonderfully easy Summer meal to prepare and serve...the P's really love the flavor of this dish. Being a quick dinner to pull together makes it ideal for a crowd dining al fresco. After you finish cooking divide it among warmed large decorative pasta bowls. You can find great pasta bowls online at Crate and Barrel, they come in beautiful Summertime colors!

Again, as I have written before, I cook off-road....meaning unless I'm baking I hardly ever stick strictly to a recipe. This gem has morphed several times over the years and as of 2012, this is the recipe I use. So as you cook throw in whatever ingredients that are desired. Don't like Scallops? Try shrimp and for those of you that don't like seafood use chicken. I always cook extra Scallops because I know Mr.P and our son will hog them all! That's the great thing about this pasta seafood meal. You can ADD or TAKE AWAY ingredients depending on how many people you are feeding. I just guess-ti-mate!

The best Italian capers come from Pantelleria, a small island close to Sicily. They are packed in salt and have a sweet, floral fragrance, not like the sharp tasting brine-packed varieties. Thankfully, Sicilian capers are becoming easier to find. Central Market and Whole Foods stock their shelves with these delights.
Angel Hair Pasta with Scallops and Arugula
Try this most perfect dish on a hot Summer's Eve. Your family will be glad you did! 
                                                                    DELICIOUS!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. large sea scallops, side muscle
    removed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 
  • Leaves from 2 or 3 large fresh thyme sprigs,
    minced
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3-4 shallots, minced
  • 1 lb. angel hair pasta
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed
    and drained
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 large {and I do mean LARGE} bunch arugula, preferably
    small leaves, washed, dried and stems removed
  • grated Parmesan cheese, opt.
  • Italian parsley or Basil, rough chopped, opt.

Directions:

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 hot but not smoking. 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 thyme, and cook for a moment. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to a warmed bowl. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter, garlic and shallots to the pan. 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 capers and 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. Top with grated Parmesan and chopped pasley or basil, if desired. Serve immediately with a green salad and good crunchy Italian bread!
Serves 4.

                                ENJOY!

..........and thanks for stopping by and sittin' for a spell...........

                                           

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