Seared Scallops with Lemon-Spinach Pasta

I grew up along the East Coast and I’ll admit, I really miss the ocean. Trips to the beach were a regular part of the summer routine while I was growing up. Sometimes, it was a quick weekend excursion down the shore, but other years it was a vacation in Florida or a road-trip north to the coast of Maine. And of course wherever we were, fresh seafood was a must.

Now I live in the Midwest and don’t get to the ocean quite as often, but I haven’t been able to let go of my love for seafood. This recipe for seared scallops served with lemon-spinach pasta takes me back to summers along the beach. With rich, buttery seafood, fresh herbs and crisp, tart lemon, it’s the perfect ode to the season.

Seared Scallops with Lemon-Spinach Pasta
Yields 2 servings
Adapted from Rachael Ray

½ pound of spaghetti or linguini
½-3/4 pound sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons of butter, divided
1 shallot, finely chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken, vegetable or seafood stock
½ cup chopped parsley
Zest of 1 lemon, reserving the lemon for serving
6 ounces fresh spinach
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add some salt and cook the pasta as directed. While the pasta is cooking, get started on the scallops. 

Season each side of the scallops with salt and pepper. 

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the pan and the oil are nice and hot, add the scallops. Sear each scallop for about 2 minutes, and then flip over and sear the other side for about 2 minutes. Remove the scallops, set aside on a plate and cover with foil.

Turn the heat on the skillet to medium. Add 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chopped shallot and cook until tender and slightly browned. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and the white wine. Reduce the wine for about 1-2 minutes and then pour in the stock.

Add the parsley, lemon zest and 1 more tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes then turn off the heat.

When the pasta is done, drain it, reserving about half a cup of the pasta water. Return the cooked pasta back to the empty pasta pot. Turn heat to low and add the sauce from the skillet. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach is slightly wilted (it may help to cover the pot for about 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat.

Add the Parmesan cheese, a little bit at a time, until all the cheese is fully incorporated. If the pasta needs a little more liquid, add some of the reserved pasta water, about a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.

Once the spinach is wilted and the ingredients are fully incorporated, transfer to a serving bowl or plate and top with the scallops. Serve with a bit of fresh lemon squeezed over the entire dish.

This post was originally featured by Bright, Bold & Beautiful.