To celebrate exams being finished and having the luxury of time to cook and enjoy a proper meal, I made one of my favourite pasta recipes today. The recipe is based on a re-creation of a shrimp dish I used to enjoy at a long defunct restaurant. At this point, I don’t think that my dish bears much resemblance to the inspiration dish, other than pasta, lemon and mint. As you may have ascertained looking through my blog posts, I am a huge fan of lemon anything. Adding mint to it takes it up a notch. The freshness of this dish is the perfect compliment to the approaching warm weather and sunshine.
Minted Lemon Pappardelle with Butter-Seared Baby Scallops
1 large shallot, yielding 3 tablespoons finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
500 grams fresh pappardelle or linguine
5 tablespoons butter, 3 of which should be kept cold.
400 grams scallops
zest and juice of 2 or 3 large lemons (2 -3 teaspoons zest, 3 tablespoons juice, to taste)
salt and pepper, to taste
generous handful of chopped fresh mint
Saute the shallots in the olive oil in a large sauté pan or frying pan until translucent. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the chicken stock and lemon zest. Simmer vigorously to reduce to 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set to the side in the sauté pan.
Drain and dry the scallops. Heat a skillet on high heat. When hot, reduce the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons of the butter allowing it to melt and coat the surface of the skillet. Brown the scallops on one side, turn to brown the other side. Do not over cook. Remove from the pan and set to the side, reserving the browned butter.
Cook the fresh pasta as directed on the package. Drain.
Re-heat the reduced liquids in the sauté pan. Add the lemon juice and reserved butter and browned bits from the scallops to the sauce, stirring to incorporate. Taste for seasoning. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the drained pasta, scallops and mint turning gently to marry them. Serve with a glass of crisp white wine.
I also make this pasta substituting cooked salmon or shrimp for the scallops. I increase the cold butter slightly depending on whether there are juices with oil or butter resulting from their preparation that I can incorporate into the sauce.