Sun Dried Tomato & Scallop Pasta is an easy to make yet incredibly delicious weeknight meal.  It’s a recipe that sounds like you ordered if from a local restaurant when in fact you whipped it up in no time at home.  I think scallops pair well with a cream sauce and pasta so it’s the perfect combination.  The pasta is tender and coated in a lovely mozzarella, sun dried tomato sauce.  The scallops have a nice sear and good texture.  And there is good heat from the red pepper flakes.

The best way to cook scallops is to sear them on the stovetop in a skillet with some oil or butter.  You want a golden crust on the top and bottom and the inside to have a soft texture.  You can use fresh or frozen scallops.  I tend to use frozen so I don’t have to worry about cooking them so soon after purchasing but you will have to ensure you save enough time to thaw.  Make sure to also drain the scallops and pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.  You also want to cook the scallops last or at the same time as the sauce (just be sure to monitor both pans as you cook) so you don’t end up with overcooked, rubbery scallops.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to package instructions.  Reserve ½ cup of the cooked pasta water and drain the rest.  Set the pasta aside.

Thaw and drain the scallops and place on a paper towel lined plate to remove as much moisture as possible.  I like to place a paper towel on top as well and gently press down to absorb more moisture.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  It’s best to use a stainless-steel skillet if you have one, to get the perfect sear.  Season the scallops with salt and add to the skillet, working in batches if needed.  You don’t want to overcrowd the pan.  Cook for 3-4 minutes then flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through.  Remove the scallops to a plate.  You do not want to keep them in the hot skillet when done cooking as they will continue to cook and become rubbery and not very tasty.

Using a separate skillet, drain the oil from the sun dried tomato jar directly into the skillet.  Heat over medium heat.  Add the sun dried tomatoes and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.  Add the half & half and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add the shredded cheese and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to simmer and continue to stir until the cheese is completely melted and incorporated.

Add the reserved pasta water and stir to combine to loosen up the sauce.  Add the basil, red pepper flakes, paprika, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat.  Remove from the heat.

Spoon the pasta into bowls and top with the cooked scallops.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or grated parmesan (optional).  Serve immediately and enjoy!

The recipe can be found here.

Happy Cooking!

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