Although usually designated as a “something special” ingredient, scallops make a perfect weeknight dinner because they cook in minutes. To get a good, crisp sear, be patient and let the pan get quite hot before adding the scallops. Once you do, leave them alone to ensure a deeply golden crust. Toss them with pasta and candy-colored cherry tomatoes that burst and get coaxed into a jammy sauce. Finish with a showering of fresh, tender herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
- 12 cherry tomatoes gently crushed with a fork but still intact
- 8 large scallops if using frozen, thaw before use; rinsed and patted dry on paper kitchen towels
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus a bit more to finish before serving
- 15 grams butter cubed
- 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes to taste
- 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 servings (about 120 grams) of spaghetti or any pasta
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese optional
- finely chopped parsley
- sea salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Arrange cherry tomatoes and scallops one layer in an oven-safe baking dish. Drizzle olive oil and scatter butter, chilli flakes and garlic over the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake casserole in pre-heated oven of 200°C (392°F) for 15 minutes.
- While the casserole is baking, bring a pot of water to boil with 1 tbsp salt added. Cook spaghetti according to package instruction until al dente (firm with a bite; usually shaving about 2-3 minutes from package recommended cooking time). Reserve a small cup of pasta water.
- Drain hot pasta and add directly to the baked casserole dish. Toss to coat evenly, adding some starchy pasta water to help bind everything together if needed. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide pasta to two serving plates, sprinkle over cheese and parsley. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil as a finishing touch before serving.