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

28 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.

Jeff Jager said...

We are looking forward to making this, because it looks really yummy! Sarah and Daddy.

Kevin Bastian said...

Made this tonight, as well as I could. Didn't have a bunch of ingredients, so substituted a lot: orange peel for lemon peel; cilantro for Italian parsley; romano for parmesan. None of that mattered; it was excellent. My only real complaint was that the bay scallops were way overcooked. I think it would have been better to pull them out while the sauce was being developed. The other issue was that the bagged, frozen bay scallops I used had obviously been pumped up full of water, so after 1 minute of browning, per the video, instead of flipping over dry, seared scallops, mine were swimming in a sea of water. Nonetheless, it worked out, and the flavor was delicious. Next time I'll see what I can do extract some of the water from the scallops before searing. Alternatively, I might just substitute a longer-cooking protein. I was wondering how salmon might work. Anyway, the recipe is really a good one and I'm looking forward to working with it in the future with other proteins and tweaks. It's a keeper! Thanks.

Kevin Bastian said...

Oh, by the way, I added up the calories and the recipe comes in around 2500, depending upon how much cheese you use (and who is going to make this and scrimp on the cheese?), so if you treat it as an entree for two, like I did, you're packing away 1250 calories per serving. Not what you want to slam down every meal unless you're an NFL player during training camp burning 7,000 calories daily, but for a splurge, it was well worth it. Next time I think we'll cut the recipe in half, or really use it for 4 side dish servings as presented, and serve it with some veggies, salad, etc. But it's definitely a delicious dish, and one I will make again, experimenting with different proteins. I was quite proud (and amazed) at how well this turned out, despite my issues with the scallops.

rymea said...

I had the same problem with the watery scallops. I drained them into a small colander and then added the scallops back into the skillet with a little more oil. Worked fine. The dish was wonderful. Sorry to hear about the calorie count.

TWM 3823 said...

I thought Italians never add cheese to a seafood dish. Am I wrong?