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
- 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.