November is the season for Nantucket Bay scallops, and when I was putting together my last grocery order, I made sure to snatch some up. These sweet little gems are about midway between a regular bay scallop and a sea scallop in size, and they’re perfect for simple, clean-flavored preparations like this pasta dish. My ex-husband used to make something similar (a recipe ganked from some food magazine I’ve long forgotten), and I’ve updated it by adding two of my favorite flavor boosters – chile flakes and fresh lemon zest. This dish is bright and tasty, comes together in literally minutes, and allows the delicious flavor of the scallops to shine.
Cappellini with Nantucket Bay Scallops
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup dry white wine
Red chile flakes to taste
1/2 lb. Nantucket Bay scallops (or sea scallops, halved or quartered if large)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
3/4 lb. cappellini (angel hair) pasta
Get a large pot of salted water boiling for the pasta.
Warm olive oil in a wide skillet and add garlic cloves and salt. Cook over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to turn golden. Add the wine and chile flakes and let cook for a moment before adding the scallops. Season them with a bit more salt and continue cooking for about 3-4 minutes, until the scallops are just cooked through.
Add the cappellini to the boiling pasta water and cook about 3 minutes. Drain and place into a warmed serving bowl.
Stir the 1/4 cup of parsley into the scallops and remove them from the heat. Pour the scallops and sauce over the pasta and toss gently. Divide between bowls or plates and top each serving with additional chopped parsley, grated lemon zest, and a sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs.