Scallops with Pea Pesto
· 225g spaghetti pasta
· 8 Broccolini stalks
· 12 scallops (about 450g)
· Iodised Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
· 1 tbsp. olive oil
· ½ cup low-salt chicken stock
· 3 tbsp. minced garlic (4-6 cloves)
· 1 cup of frozen peas
· 30g shredded Parmesan cheese ¼ cup
· Juice ½ lemon
· Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
· Walnuts ¼ cup
1. In a large pan, cook pasta according to package directions. Add brocolini to the pot during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. Before draining pasta, reserve ¼ cup of cooking water in a small dish. Drain pasta and asparagus and return to pat
2. See the step-by-step guide “how to prep and sear scallops” and follow steps 1 through 6
3. Prepare Pea Pesto: Reduce heat to medium. Deglaze pan by pouring ¼ cup stock into pan and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Add garlic to pan and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add ¼ cup stock and peas to pan and sauté until the peas are just thawed, about 2 minutes.
4. Transfer pea mixture including liquid, to a mini food processor or blender. Add Parmesan, walnuts, lemon juice, salt and pepper; process until combined. Add pesto to the drained pasta and brocolini; toss until evenly coated. Add 2 tbsp reserved pasta-cooking water (and additional as needed to thin the sauce) and stir. Divide pasta mixture among four plates. Top each serving with 3 seared scallops.
How to prep and sear scallops:
1. Rinse the Scallops. Pat scallops dry with paper towel.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a stainless steel sauté pan on high for 1 minute (a non-stick pan will work, but stainless is preferred for searing and caramelising). Add oil and swirl to coat bottom, heat for 30 seconds.
3. Place scallops around the outside of pan and cook 1 side for 1 to 2 minutes, or until visibly browned around bottom edge.
4. Use a thin metal spatula to scrape under each scallop and release from pan. Turn scallops over and cook other side for 1-2 minutes.
5. Scallops are done when they feel slightly firm but still tender when pressed gently. It’s easy to overcook scallops, so you generally shouldn’t exceed a cooking time of 5-6 minutes total.
6. Remove scallops to a plate and serve immediately or keep warm by covering with foil or another plate while finishing the recipe.