I found a market, Papa Joe's, that supplies the freshest seafood in town. What I like best about Papa Joe's, is that they know their stuff and humor my quest to find only the best at the right price. I never buy seafood without first smelling the product, and they do not blink when I ask to see and smell my selection. There are so many ways to spruce the color of a fish, but it is difficult to mask the odor of old fish. However, this market has some of the highest prices in town, but they often have sales and is one of the only places that does not only put their "old" stuff on sale. This special this week involved one of my favorite ingredients- sea scallops. At $14.99 per lb as opposed to the normal $20-24 per lb, it is still quite expensive, but very much worth it.
When it comes to cooking seafood the more simple the approach- the better. Good stuff does not take a lot of work. Usually I just sear the scallops and serve either over lettuce or rice. In this case, I had some lovely asparagus and I was craving pasta. I really enjoyed the white wine/lemon/shallot sauce. The sauce held the dish together and complemented the buttery scallops. The roasted asparagus gave the dish a smokey flavor. I was afraid that the asparagus may over power the delicate scallop flavor. Nevertheless, I was surprised that the asparagus brought out the scallop flavor. My husband commented that a few red pepper flakes would have added some needed heat. This dish is definitely a keeper.
Scallop and Asparagus Lemon Spaghetti
Generously Serves 4
1 lb. fresh sea scallops
1 16 oz. box of spaghetti
2 shallots finely chopped
1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and cut in to thirds
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place asparagus on sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 10-15 min. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Slice scallops horizontally, wash and pat dry. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Add half the scallops and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook remaining scallops. Keep slightly warm. In pan used to sear scallops, add 1 tablespoon butter. Add shallots and cook until slightly soften a few minutes. Add wine and lemon juice. Cook until sauce reduces by half. Check the seasoning. Toss pasta and asparagus. Top with scallops and wine sauce.