Scallops in a Snap

Dinner:  November 28, 2007

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
Kosher salt
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
Lemon zest
Toasted breadcrumbs

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.

10 thoughts on “Scallops in a Snap

  1. I recently cooked a seafood barley risotto with bay scallops. Love them. I can almost smell the odors emanating from your dish! Great picture.

  2. Jennifer — always glad to find another Nantucket Bay scallop fan. I really loved this recipe (the addition of toasted bread crumbs and lemon zest was inspired) and I’ve added a link to it on the item I just published on telling my readers that these sweet, delicate scallops are in season. I love how your recipe gives us all the flavor with only a half-pound of scallops. Hope you’re feeling better and that you and Mike get rid of those colds.

    All the best, Kate

  3. Jennifer Hess says:

    Kate – Thanks so much! Your seared Nantucket Bay scallop recipe sounds great, too – simple and elegant, just the thing for these little gems. Mike’s taking over the kitchen this weekend, which will give me some time to rest and recuperate, and hopefully he’ll be feeling better, too. 🙂

  4. Ellen Barnes says:

    I am going to make this as we type! I live in Florida but have been to Nantucket many times and had the bay scallops at Jared’ s Coffin House. Can I order them from Nantucket????

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