*This is a paid post sponsored by Bloomscape. The blog post and recipe are my own*
Let me tell you… if cooking scallops perfectly intimidate you- you are not the only one. I’ve watched plenty of chefs get thrashed on Chopped and MasterChef for overcooking scallops during the searing process. I recently discovered affordable, premium scallops at Aldi (my favorite store) in the frozen foods section that was so juicy and sweet. My family could not even tell the difference and we order scallops at restaurants often! After doing some research, I found a few tips that’ll ensure great tasting and perfectly cooked scallops each time. First, it’s important to try to purchase them as fresh as possible. Feel free to visit your local meat market or seafood counter or give the brand I mentioned a try. Next, it’s important to make sure that the scallops have been dried out as much as possible. I like to sit mine on a few paper towels and cover them with a paper towel for about 20 minutes or as I’m preparing the kitchen to cook. Lastly, you want a high smoke point on the stove. I get this by using a high heat oil or browned butter and don’t overcrowd the pan when cooking.
This pasta dish is extremely easy to make. I’ve been growing cherry tomatoes in my kitchen window from Bloomscape’s Edible Garden Collection. I’d been watering and caring for them and one day I woke up with a full bush of sweet red tomatoes. I decided to chop up some fresh garlic cloves and shallots and sauteed in olive oil. Once the tomatoes were done and the shallots were fragrant, I deglazed the pan with broth (you can also use dry white wine- I hate opening full bottles just for cooking). You will notice that we aren’t making a full sauce for the recipe because we’re utilizing the liquids created from deglazing the pan after sauteing the veggies and reserved pasta water. As pasta cooks, it releases starch into the water which is perfect for thickening sauces. If you notice your pasta getting dry, just add a few tablespoons of pasta water. This is also why it’s important to salt your water before boiling.
For the scallops, you’ll want to salt and pepper them and cook them in a lightly oiled skillet on one side before adding butter and cooking the other side through. As the scallops are cooking and butter begins to brown in the skillet, spoon the hot butter over the scallops to help them cook thoroughly. Once the pasta is finished and assembled, I chopped some of my fresh basil from Bloomscape and topped with shaved parmesan cheese.
As always, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! It was very simple to make and will definitely boost your confidence in the kitchen if done correctly. Eat up ad tag me in pictures at @elle.thefoodie!
Here’s the Full Recipe:
- 12 oz Scallops, you can determine the number of scallops you’d like to use
- 6 oz Cherry Tomatoes, I grew and used about two handfuls
- 3 large Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small Shallot, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup Broth or White Wine, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water to use as a thickener
- 1 ½ tbs Unsalted Butter
- Fresh Basil, finely chopped (about 1-2 tablespoons)
- Olive Oil
- Salt, to taste
- Black Pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil, salt, and oil to the water before adding pasta. Cook the pasta until it is al dente but not too soft to prevent it from being mushy. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
- My tip is to cook the pasta until it is almost done and save in the hot pasta water before transferring to the skillet to assemble. This keeps the pasta moist and not cooking them fully will ensure that the pasta isn’t overcooked.
- After the scallops have dried on the paper towel, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Add oil to a frying pan on medium-high heat and add the scallops once it is hot. You will want the pan sizzling but not too high to burn everything up. It’s not Cajun cooking, lmao.
- Leave the scallops untouched in the pan and sear them 3 to 4 minutes or until the bottoms are browned. Flip and sear the other side for 1-2 minutes until brown. As they are searing, add butter and as it is browning, spoon the butter over the scallops to cook them through. Transfer to a plate once they are done.
- In a large skillet, add about 2 tbsp of olive oil and add garlic and shallots. As they both begin to cook, cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the skillet to sauté. Reduce the heat of the pan to medium heat.
- Add white wine or broth to the pan with tomatoes to deglaze it and let it cook for about 30 seconds. Add the pasta to the veggies and juices and mix thoroughly. Turn the heat down to simmer.
- The juices will make up the sauce for the pasta so if it looks too dry, slowly add a few tablespoons of pasta water, and don’t forget to salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the scallops to the pasta and toss & top the pasta with fresh basil and shaved parmesan. Serve immediately and don’t forget to tag me in your pictures at @elle.thefoodie!