Early in our cruising, I learned that it is very easy to ruin scallops. We had helped a fisherman who was out of gas and as a thank-you gift, he gave us a dozen beautiful scallops that his son had just gathered. Although I carefully followed a recipe, I ended up with something that more resembled hockey pucks than a seafood delicacy.
Then our friends Robin and Martin invited us aboard their trawler, The Cat’s Meow, for dinner . . . scallops. Robin’s scallops – tossed with pasta – simply melted in my mouth. How did she do it?
Robin explained that basically you don’t want to “cook” a scallop, as they get tough very easily (yeah, I knew that!). Instead, she said, “You just want to introduce them to warmth.”
Even better, Robin had a virtually foolproof technique for keeping them tender.
Cook the other ingredients in the dish, then turn the heat off and add the scallops to the pan. Toss everything together, then put the cover on for a few minutes until the scallops are just opaque. I couldn’t believe it was so simple and gave such great results!
Linguine and Scallops
- 1 pound linguine (OR other pasta such as fettucine, rotini or penne)
- 1 chicken bouillon cube (OR 1 teaspoon salt)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (OR canola oil)
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste (OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 pound scallops (rinsed and patted dry)
4 cups total of any or all of the following:
- green onions, sliced, including tops (OR diced onions)
- mushrooms (fresh Baby Bella caps are my favorite)
- sweet peppers, any color, cut into thin strips
- sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- artichoke hearts (in brine or marinated — drained)
- black olives (Kalamata are best – drained)
- shredded or shaved Parmesan for topping (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions, using the bouillon cube in place of salt.
- At the same time, sauté the vegetables in the oil and garlic (if using olives, add them in the next step instead). When the onions, mushrooms and/or artichokes are just golden, add the olives and Italian seasoning, mix well and heat through.
- Drain pasta and add to the skillet, tossing to mix. Turn the stove off and add the scallops to the pan, tossing to mix. Cover and let sit about 3 minutes for small scallops and 5 to 7 minutes for large ones, until the scallops are just opaque.
- Serve immediately topped with a sprinkling of cheese (optional).
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