Lemon Parsley Scallops and Pasta

Yesterday, I went to the Strip District in Pittsburgh (Or as Pittsburgh-ers say, I went down the Strip) to check out all the specialty grocery stores and find something to make for dinner.

After wandering down Penn Avenue, in hopes of seeing some great veggies or fresh meat that would inspire me to whip up a meal, I ended up at Penn Avenue Fish Company.

Penn Avenue Fish Co. had a lot of fresh, just-caught seafood and I was immediately attracted to the plump sea scallops for sale. I told the fishmonger I’d take a pound, and was pleasantly surprised at how helpful he was. They also gave me a free lemon with my purchase, something I thought was a nice “we do care about our customers!” touch.

After I got the scallops, I bought some fresh flat-leaf parsley and some more lemons, thinking that those three ingredients would make for the perfect light, summer meal. And, boy was I right.

The scallops were perfectly cooked, not rubbery at all, and the lemon and parsley brought out the flavor of the scallops instead of hiding it under a creamy, rich sauce.

Overall, this dinner earned some rave reviews from the family and it was delicious and quick to make (only about an hour, start to finish). I highly recommend whipping up your own batch at home for dinner al fresco on the patio with a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Lemon Parsley Scallops and Pasta

  • 1 lb. of fresh scallops
  • 1 box of mezze penne
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flake
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • ½ cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon zest
  • 3 lemons, juice and zest
  • Flour
  • S&P
  • Parmesan cheese

For the pasta:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta until al dente. (Remember to save about a cup of pasta water.)

2. Add 1 large pat of butter and enough oil to cover to the pan.

3. Next, add the minced shallot, garlic, lemon zest, S&P, and red pepper flakes. Let the mixture soften while the pasta cooks.

4. Pour cooked pasta into shallot mixture and add the juice of 2 lemons, however much Parmesan cheese you like (I probably added about a 1/4 cup), the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce, and a generous helping of fresh parsley. Remove from the heat while you cook the scallops.

For the scallops:

1. Dry the scallops on paper towels.

2. Roll scallops in the flour and S&P mix.

3. Cover a skillet with oil over high heat. You want the scallops to sizzle when they hit the pan.

4. Cook the scallops about 1 ½ minutes on each side. Don’t crowd them and only put about 6 in the pan at a time. When cooking in batches, heat up your oven to 200 degrees and the scallops will stay warm.

5. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over scallops and add fresh chopped parsley.

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