Seared Scallops with Tomato Spinach Pasta

  in Main Dishes, Recipes, Seafood

Adapted from nytimes

1 lb capellini pasta
3 generous handfuls baby spinach
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 ¼ lbs cherry or grape tomatoes (about 1 ½ pints)
big pinch cayenne pepper (optional but good)
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb large sea scallops, patted dry
Sea salt and black pepper
1 cup (or so) chopped fresh basil
Fresh shaved Parmesan
Fresh lemon juice

  1. Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Just before draining, stir in the baby spinach. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain in a colander.
  2. Place pasta cooking pot back on the burner and turn heat to medium. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil and the cherry tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes until tomatoes soften and start to burst. Add the garlic and cayenne and cook 1 minute. Add the pasta cooking liquid and simmer the mixture for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and turn off heat.
  3. While the sauce is cooking, start the scallops: Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the pan is good and hot, add the scallops. Cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. A nice golden crust should form. Turn the scallops over and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta and spinach to the sauce in the pot along with the chopped basil and toss to combine. Portion pasta into bowls (3-4). Divide scallops among bowls. Drizzle a little more olive oil over all. Drizzle a bit of lemon juice over the scallops, and serve with fresh Parmesan on the side.