April 24, 2008

scallops and ziti

a fast & easy weekday dinner

while i love almost all seafood, scallops never appealed to me. i prefer things to be savory, or even spicy, but i don't usually like my protein-source to be sweet. i save that for dessert afterwards. so isn't that how they usually describe scallops - as being sweet? anyway, i sucked it up for the sake of my hubby who loves the stuff, and bought a package of 8 scallops at mitsuwa *in case you haven't realized yet, i love that place*
8 scallops for $4 or so. if i ruin them, well, that's only $4 down the drain.
what to do with these scallops was the question. i had never made anything with them before.
> ok, i lied. i attemped "scallops bonne femme and spinach with crispy proscuitto" a la rachel ray's 30min meals. it was a disaster. the sauce was ridiculously rich, scallops were "sauteed" in the sauce... let's just say, we all enjoyed the spinach with crispy prosciutto! i shoulda known better than to follow rachel ray anyway =p aaanyway, i'd like to forget that meal ever happened. so let's do that, ok?

ok, so this time i wanted pasta (don't i always?). my pantry houses about 5 types of different pasta, from wholewheat to spinach to fettucine to tortellini. but there was a bag of ziti staring me in the face and i wanted to use some it.
so! here's my very approximated recipe for scallops & ziti.

for scallops:
a knob of herbed butter
kosher salt

for pasta:
2 cups of ziti (or whatever kind of pasta you like)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili flakes
1 cup of grated mozzarella
kosher salt & pepper

in one pot, start boiling water for your pasta and get that going.
in a saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat. add the minced garlic to the oil/butter mixture. you can add more or less garlic according to your taste preference. once the garlic is nicely browned, pour the oil mixture into a container to later use with the cooked pasta. (it should make about 1 cup of "sauce")
next, using the same saucepan, add a knob of herbed butter. melt the butter on medium - high heat. lightly season clean and dry scallops with kosher salt and pepper. add the seasoned scallops to the pan and allow them to brown. once they lift off the pan without resistance, they're ready to be flipped over and grilled on the other side.
so - i guess i don't like scallops to be "rare" if you must. so i kept mine going for about 3-5mins on each side until they were nicely firm. i doubt this is the "proper" way to eat them, but it's what i did.
by now, the pasta should be cooked. drain the pasta, then add back into the pot. keeping the heat on medium, add the garlic oil/butter sauce to the pasta and stir so all pasta is coated. if there's not enough sauce, you could always add a bit more olive oil after the fact. once the pasta's coated, add some salt & pepper to taste, then add the chili flakes and grated mozzarella. toss it altogether and what you should have is a lovely, light, garlic-y, cheesy simple pasta dish.

once the pasta is complete, plate it and add the scallops on top of it. i added a bit more crushed black pepper to season (and more chili flakes for my palate).

and there you have it - one easy-peasy weekday dinner. it'll take you about 15-20mins. and it's delicious.
buon appetito!
p.s. i now like scallops. but i can only eat a maximum of 2. :)

cPe 2008


noble pig said...

This looks delightful for a weekday meal. Thanks for sharing!

Food, she thought. said...

i might make this tonight! i have scallops in the freezer, good ones, if that's not oxymoronic!

Kevin said...

Pan seared scallops are good. The pasta sounds simple and yet tasty without overpowering the flavour of the scallops.

Hillary said...

I love scallops! This does seem simple and easy!

Cindy. Lo. said...

Ah something simple yet delicious is perfect for me!

Kate said...

I love scallops, but would never have thought to pair them with ziti. Will have to try this.