One of my favorite seafood dishes is seared scallops. When it’s on the menu, it’s almost always what I order. Seared scallops are very easy to make at home; however, I didn’t know that for years. I tried numerous times and just seemed to have soggy edges with no color. Finally, I learned that the secret is using fresh “dry” scallops. Dry scallops are either served or frozen right away. Wet scallops on the other hand have been preserved with phosphates that absorb moisture. When you try to sear wet scallops, all of the moisture comes out and just steams the scallops. It’s hard to tell the difference at the market because the package isn’t always marked wet or dry. I get my scallops fresh at Whole Foods.
When living in Europe, some great friends gave me an Italian pasta maker for Christmas. I haven’t pulled it out since I’ve been in the states. Today, I bought some fresh scallops and visited a farmer’s market, so I decided dinner should be homemade all the way. The recipe is easy, but the process takes some time. If you don’t have the time or the tools, you can buy fresh pasta at the market and serve the primavera over any size noodle.
- 6 ½ ounces flour
- 2 eggs
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-4 tablespoons water
- 1 generous pinch of salt
Place the flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add two eggs and mix with one hand. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and continue to mix. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon water and mix. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter top. Add salt. Then, alternate oil and water 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a smooth dough-like consistency.
Shape the pasta dough into a ball and cover with a moist towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Cut the dough into ¼-inch slices.
Set the pasta maker on to position 1 and pass the dough through the flat rollers. Sprinkle the dough with flour and change the thickness of the rollers one step. Pass through again and repeat, until the pasta reaches your desired thickness.
Dust with flour and pass the dough through the noodle cutter. To cook, place in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes.
- 3 crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- ¼ cup white onion, diced
- 1 medium tomato, diced (seeds removed)
- ¼ cup red or orange pepper, diced
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 lb. scallops
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup white wine
- Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the vegetables onto a rimmed pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and cook for 5 minutes. Stir. Return to oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt, pepper and Tony’s. Place seasoned side down in the pan. Sprinkle the top side with salt, pepper and Tony’s. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes, until the bottom begins to get a colorful sear.
Then, flip the scallops over. Add the roasted vegetables and lemon juice to the pan and spread around the scallops. After about 5 minutes, add the white wine and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pepper. Allow the cheese to melt and the sauce to thicken.
Plate the scallops atop freshly cooked noodles. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pepper. If you like your dish a little spicy, drizzle with picanté oil.