I’m going to apologize right off the bat for the overload of photos, it was just SO DANG BEAUTIFUL and honestly the most delicious recipe I’ve ever made, I got a little snap happy!
Friends, there are dinners, and then there are *dinners.*
And this, was one heck of a feast!
Behold, perhaps the most photogenic meal I have ever made.
Introducing my Pesto Scallop Pasta!
Believe it or not, you can whip up this meal in less than 30 minutes. It is truly SO FAST and easy.
Slurpy zucchini pasta (or regular pasta if that’s your speed), coated in a luxurious and flavorful pesto, accompanied by perfectly crispy-on-the-outside, buttery-on-the-inside scallops!
I mean just get a load of that sear!
It was perfect for date night.
Plus, it’s gluten free, paleo, keto and Specific Carb Diet friendly.
Here’s What You Need: Serves 2
2 cups fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup pine nuts, dry toasted
1/3-1/2 cup good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (do not use from the green canister) (SCD/vegan option: OMIT)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place your trimmed asparagus in a single layer on a nonstick-tinfoil -lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Next, spiralize your zucchini noodles, using either a spiralizer, potato peeler, or even just a sharp knife and patience! Then place the in a single layer on a nonstick tinfoil-lined baking sheet, and bake for about 5-7 minutes, until they lose that raw bite, and begin to soften and become pliable.
Meanwhile, make your pesto…and it couldn’t be quicker or easier!
First, (and this is optional) toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan for about 3 minutes over medium low heat until they become fragrant and lightly golden brown. Though optional, this seriously SERIOUSLY adds a depth of flavor that is unrivaled.
Once they’ve cooled for a few minutes, throw all the ingredients into the food processor, except for the olive oil and cheese, and pulse numerous times. You’ll need to stop and scrape the sides several times. Then, start to drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running. You’ll notice the color and texture begin to change. Scrape the sides once or twice. You’ll know you’ve got enough olive oil when it becomes thick and creamy.
At this point, if you are making vegan pesto, stop here. Or remove some for your dairy-free eaters, and continue on to the final step for the full shabam.
Finally, add the parmesan cheese and pulse until just incorporated. (You don’t want to pulse it too much, because the heat generated from the food processor will melt the cheese.)
Toss with your zucchini pasta (or real pasta) and set aside.
Next, to cook the scallops: you want them to be bone dry. So after you rinse them, put them on a paper towel, and dry them completely with another paper towel. Sprinkle the one side with Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. (You’ll season the other side when it’s in the pan.)
Next, you want your pan to be very hot. Add about 2 Tbsp Olive oil or avocado oil to a large nonstick pan. Heat until right before it starts smoking. Then starting at the “12 o’clock” position, place your scallops (seasoning side-down) one by one clockwise around the pan, being careful not to crowd the pan. Once they are all placed in, let them sear untouched for 1:45. (Set a timer, it goes fast!) During this time, sprinkle the other side with more Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper.
Then, using tongs, start again at the 12 o’clock position and flip each scallop going clock wise.
Set another timer and let cook for another 1:30.
After a minute and 30 seconds, take them off the pan and put on a plate to rest. (Otherwise they will continue to cook on the pan.) Drizzle with the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
To plate, top your zucchini pesto pasta with half of the scallops, garnish with fresh basil, and serve along side your gorgeous asparagus.
OH MY GOODNESS, I HAVE NO WORDS!
Ladies and gentlemen, when I tell you, I was speechless when eating this…
It was eyes-roll-to-the-back-of-your-head, somebody call the doctor, delicious!
Steven flat out told me that it was the best thing I’ve ever made. And in fact, he asked me to make it again the next day for our dinner party with friends!
The scallops are just phenomenal.
They have this mildly sweet undertone, and buttery flavor that just pairs perfectly with the pesto!
AND THAT CRUST! My, my, my — it was crispy, and had a rich olive oil flavor that was so satisfying with the slightly spicy Old Bay seasoning. I just absolutely loved it.
And the pesto was the perfect accompaniment. The fresh basil added a brightness to the dish that really made my tastebuds dance!
Slurpy pasta, crispy scallops, and rich and creamy pesto — I’d give it a perfect 10!
Whatever you do, do yourself a favor and make this dish!
It is so photogenic too, you’ll be sure to get a good Instagram pic out of it too! 😉
Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll see you tomorrow!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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