Until I came up with this Spaghetti with Scallops Recipe, my kids had no idea people ate pasta without drowning it in red sauce. Now, I love a good meat sauce (or Italian gravy, as it’s properly called), but sometimes it’s fun to change things up.
Besides, there was a great sale on scallops. If you’re an Aldi shopper, I’ve found they have the best price on the large scallops that work so well in this recipe.
So, this dish really started as a dish I made quite often in college: noodles tossed with olive oil in which I’d cooked a little garlic. But I wanted to dress it up a bit, and scallops always seem kind of fancy to me. Living in the land-locked state of Kansas, any shellfish feels a bit upscale.
I added a crushed tomato, a little parsley, and some fresh Parmesan. Then, on a whim, I sprinkled on some freshly-grated lemon zest. The result was so delicious that my husband quite literally licked his plate.
Now THAT is a success in my book!
Spaghetti with Scallops Recipe
Although this is a pretty quick recipe to start with, you can speed it up more by cooking the noodles ahead of time. When you pre-cook pasta, you should cut the cooking time short by a minute or two, then drain it and toss it with just a bit of olive oil. Store the precooked noodles in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
When you’re ready to put dinner together, open the container of noodles before starting the rest of the recipe, so they have a chance to warm up a bit. Then add the noodles straight to the pan after you’ve cooked the scallops, and toss them with the tomato and hot oil until they’re warmed all the way through.
Spaghetti With Scallops
- Large stockpot to boil pasta
- Colander to drain pasta
- Large skillet
- Slotted spoon
- 1 lb spaghetti noodles – uncooked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil – extra virgin
- 2 cloves garlic – chopped
- 1 tomato – peeled and crushed
- 1 lb. scallops – if very large, cut each into 4 pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Zest from one lemon
- ¼ cup fresh parsley – minced
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese – grated
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Do not rinse after draining.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Gently cook garlic in oil until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove garlic from hot oil with slotted spoon. Set aside.
- Add butter to the pan and let it melt. When the foam has subsided, turn the heat down to low and add the scallops. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Don't try to pry them up to turn them: they'll release when they've finished browning.
- Add tomato to pan and cook for one minute.
- Add garlic back to pan followed by the drained noodles. Using tongs, combine the noodles and scallops until the noodles are coated with oil and butter.
- Divide pasta between four plates. Garnish with lemon zest, minced parsley, and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
More Recipes to Try: