Thursday, January 2, 2014

Creamy Bay Scallop Spaghetti – An Almost Perfect Post-Holidays Pasta

After all those rich, complicated, and time-consuming holiday recipes, I’m always craving something light, fast, and easy; and this creamy bay scallop spaghetti is all that and more. Literally “more,” in that this is not light, but quite delicious, and in roughly the time it takes you to boil spaghetti, the sauce should be just about ready.

With some similar recipes to this, the chef will have you remove the scallops as soon as they’re seared, to be added back right at the end. Sounds smart since these little mollusks only take a few minutes to cook, but I think it’s a mistake. Yes, the scallops will be smaller and firmer using my method, but the trade-off is a much more flavorful sauce.

Sometimes cooks are so afraid to overcook and ruin something, they never extract as much flavor as possible. Sure, if you boiled these bay scallops another ten minutes or so, they’d get start getting dry and rubbery, but here they’re still plenty tender and moist enough, and I think you’ll agree the sherry sauce benefits significantly.

Regarding the sherry wine: If you can’t have or don’t want to use it, you’re on your own with replacements. While this would probably still work with none, or any number of sort-of-sweet, sort-of-acidic substations, I make mine with sherry, so I can’t tell you what will happen if you stray.

The meat’s another story. Feel free to switch out the scallops with any cubed protein, so really, if you think about it, I just shoed you like a dozen new recipes. You’re welcome! I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 appetizer-sized portions:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound bay scallops
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp lemon zest
pinch red pepper flakes
1/3 cup sherry wine
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon or to taste
8 oz cooked thick spaghetti
2 tbsp Italian parsley, divided
Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste

23 comments:

Stephen Greene said...

Looks great! Do you think shrimp would work as opposed to scallops?

Heather L said...

Chef John! In the video, you told us the blog would tell us about the varying flavors in the parsleys (the parsley added while it was cooking and the parsley added after it was done), but it doesn't!

How could you! I must know!

inchrisin said...

I don't have my head wrapped around milk as well as I'd like. How did you prevent the cream from curdling? Given heat and acid (lemon juice) you have most of the elements present to make cheese. How do you keep the sauce from breaking?

Thanks Dr. John

Elana P said...

Chef John, you're a genius.

Gerry Graham said...

I have bag of frozen large scallops. Could the scallops be cut into smaller pieces without ruining them?

Edgars said...

how do you warm up your bowls?

David said...

Chef, what non-alcoholic alternatives could I use in place of the wine? Thanks.

Patricia Reitz said...

Oh man, looks amazing!!!

Sandra from Montreal said...

This looks great! We're in for the day due to extremely cold weather, and as I have shrimp on hand, I'll be making this tonight! Thanks again; so glad you're back...

Chef John said...

David and Stephen, please read post for answer.

Edgars, in a warm oven or under hot water or just back of the stove.

Yes, you can do this with any sized scallop!

Chef John said...

inchrisin,

cream doesn't cuddle because its 34% fat! Milk does because its only 2-5%

Chef John said...

Heather, the cooked in parsley tastes sweeter and more mild, while the one right at the end is much "grassier" and herbaceous. I like to have both elements.

Skyjackie737 said...

Happy New Year Chef John!! Was wondering what to make for dinner tonight and well, you just made it easy for me. Cant wait to Enjoy!

PJ said...

I made this tonight for dinner. It was excellent! Thanks for posting the recipe.

CWR032 said...

Cream doesn't cuddle because it's a guy.

Michelle Grogan said...

I just made this tonight & it was so good!! I can't wait to have it again!!

Barbara Nave said...

Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. I used light cream instead of heavy cream and it was slightly too watery-- will add less next time. However it still tasted great. I'll be making it again soon!

Elly said...

Thank you for your videos! Always learn new things and laugh! Will be movinf out of the parents place in july! I was to try ALL of your recipes!
Much love!
Elodie :)

Elly said...

Thank you for your videos! Always learn new things and laugh! Will be movinf out of the parents place in july! I was to try ALL of your recipes!
Much love!
Elodie :)

emmydoo said...

I made a dish last night based on this with sea scallops from Costco, it was really great! Thanks!
http://parttimeladyofleisure.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/seared-scallops-with-creamy-white-wine.html

Krysten Erk said...

I made this last night and my fiance and I loved it! So delicious. I love everything I have ever cooked from you. Thank you, Chef John, for your blog!

Barb Polan said...

Excellent! I made it with almond milk instead of cream, then reduced it longer to make the thickness right. Also, I used sea scallops cut in half, which probably kept them more tender than bay scallops. And I used fresh linguini, which took far less time than dried, so I started the sauce first and cooked the pasta during. Perfect. I'll definitely try it with shrimp, haddock and/or lobster.

Kim-Allyn Lauterbach said...

I made this last night and it was AMAZING!! My husband loved it and my 14 year old son gave it a 10 1/2 out of 10 stars. I had no trouble at all with my milk curdling and my scallops stayed nice and tender. I had no sherry in the house so I used a rose' that I love. I will definitely make this again.