Pan-Seared Scallops is a restaurant-style dish that is easy to make in your home kitchen and will cost you a fraction of ordering them at your favorite restaurant.
And nothings says farm-fresh and healthy like a dish of homemade pesto tossed with pasta.
Updated from original post July 17, 2012
One of the great joys of summer is having an almost endless supply of fresh basil coming from my garden. There is just something so magical about basil and the aroma that just lingers with you……sigh.
Have you ever tried growing basil? It’s really easy to do. In fact, you can buy pre-potted basil at home depot and many of your favorite grocery stores.
Over the years I have used pesto many different ways in a variety of sauces. But I think my favorite use of fresh pesto is to simply toss it with pasta, sprinkle a little grated Romano on it and enjoy the flavors in their purest form. Now that speaks of summer to me, whether I’m picking my own basil, or remembering the days when I got it by the bushel basket……. Fresh basil means summer to me and always will.
The great thing about a simple flavorful pesto is that it goes so well with just about everything, and since it is summer and the scallop boats have been bringing in gorgeous fresh scallops off the Jersey coast, I thought it would be the perfect combination to share with you. To make a new summer memory that we could share, because we are friends, and we are family.
What ingredients do I need to make pan-seared scallops and linguine al pesto?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make my Pan-Seared Scallops and Linguine al Pesto. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the up cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
How do I make Linguine al Pesto?
The first step is toasting the pine nuts.
To toast thr pine nuts get a pan sauté pan very hot, then turn off the heat, and add your pine nuts. Keep the pine nuts moving around so they toast without burning.
*Remove the pan from the heat if the pine nuts start to smoke.
Do I have to use pine nuts to make pesto?
No, you don’t. Walnuts are an acceptable replacement, or you can leave the nuts out altogether. It won’t have a noticeable effect on the flavor.
- remove the leaves from the basil and parsley, do not use the stems
- place the basil, parsley into the food processor, Pulse it until the greens are very well minced
- add your garlic, toasted pine nuts, and grated Romano Cheese into the food processor and pulse to combine
- drizzle in the Olive Oil until it has a nice smooth consistency without looking oily
When the pesto is made you can move on to the scallops. Before cooking the scallops start cooking the pasta. Follow the directions for cooking the pasta on the box or container. The scallops will take 4-5 minutes to cook, so plan accordingly.
*You can keep the cooked scallops in a 225 degree oven until the pasta is cooked.
How do I make pan-seared scallops?
- wash and clean your scallops (remove the little piece of side muscle)
- pat dry the scallops with paper towels
- sprinkle the old bay on both sides of the scallops
- get the pan very hot
- add enough olive oil for a very light coating in the pan. You’re not frying you’re searing the scallops
- add the scallops carefully, not overcrowding the pan (too many scallops will bring down the temperature of the pan)
**Once you place the scallops in the pan, do not move them right away. You want a crust to form on the scallop.
When the scallops are ready, toss the pasta with as much pesto as you like.
*If the pasta seems dry add a little olive oil to it.
Serve the pan seared scallops over the linguine alla pesto and enjoy! I like to add a sprinkle or two of grated Romano cheese to the pasta and a little fresh black pepper.