The brightness and color of this pasta with the meatiness of the scallop cannot be beat. You might want to add fresh greens or arugula to toss in the pasta to add texture and dimension. This can be made with tinned scallops or even sautéed ones that have been thawed from your freezer “pantry”!
When it comes to finding sustainable scallops, farmed scallops are basically sustainable, landing in the “Yellow-Green” range overall. Antibiotics and feeds are not used in scallop farming, there’s no affluence, and chemical use and ecosystem impacts are minimal. As with all tinned seafood, know your source and look into where the scallops come from and how impacted they are. I like using Ramon Pena‘s Small Scallops in Sauce!
For the Pasta:
• 1 pound Italian spaghetti
• 2 cups baby arugula
• 8 ounces tinned or frozen scallops that have been thawed, patted dry, and sautéed
• Extra parmesan cheese and pine nuts for garnish
• Basil Kelp Pesto (see below)
For the Basil Kelp Pesto:
• 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• 2 cups basil leaves
• 1 cup wakame kelp, rehydrated and patted dry
• 1 cup arugula
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for a smoother pesto
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, optional
In a food processor or blender, combine the pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and pulse until well chopped. Add the basil, kelp, and arugula, and then pulse until combined. With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until combined. Add the parmesan cheese, if using, and pulse to briefly combine. For a smoother pesto, add more olive oil.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve some of the starchy pasta water. Next, add 1/4 cup of this pasta water back into the pot with your pesto, and stir to thin the pesto. Toss in the cooked pasta, and mix until the pesto thoroughly coats it. Add a big handful of arugula and toss until it’s barely wilted. Add the scallops and toss one more time.
Serve in open bowls and finished with a squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and toasted pine nuts.
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