I’ve been staring at a bag of cavatelli in the freezer since Victor made it a few weeks ago when we were having our little snow storm. That first night we had it with a red sauce but I wanted to try something different the second time around.

As I was rearranging the freezer on Monday – a task I need to do every few months because of my strange food-buying habits – I came upon a bag of scallops and knew that they would be the perfect foil for the cavatelli. A recipe started formulating…

My first thought was making a cream sauce because if there’s a way to add fat and calories to an otherwise healthy dish – I’m your man. It’s not really my fault. My mind just works in variations of butter and heavy cream. It’s a gift and a curse.

I had an idea of what I wanted to do but always like seeing what else is out there so I perused the internet a bit. I found lots of recipes for a cream sauce with scallops, but none of them were very promising. I wanted creamy – I just didn’t want their creamy. So I went with wine and cheese, instead.

Good ol’ Rachael Ray had a recipe for linguini with scallops that held some promise, but it still wasn’t what I was looking for, so I took her concept and started playing. The end result was pretty good.

Scallops with Cavatelli

  • 1 lb cavatelli
  •  1 lb scallops, cleaned
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup clam broth
  • 1 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 1/2 cup minced basil
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • olive oil and butter
  • salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta. You will want to time it so the pasta is done the same time as the sauce – neither take long.

Melt a bit of butter with olive oil in a large skillet. Cook scallops about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add shallots and garlic and quickly saute until shallots are wilted. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add clam broth, lemon zest, and lemon juice and simmer.

Stir in basil and parsley. Stir in cheese, being careful not to bring it to a boil.

Stir in the cooked pasta and coat it well with the sauce. Let it simmer in the sauce a few minutes to pick up the flavors.

Stir in the scallops along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl.

Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

It was a 20 minute start-to-finish dinner. The longest part of the entire production was waiting for the water to boil.

And it was unexpectedly good. As in really good. The homemade pasta really made a difference, but I’m sure it would be excellent with any good pasta.

I need to convince Victor to make several pounds of this one day and let me freeze it in 1 pound packages for those other fun and unexpected meals I’m waiting to make…

Stay tuned…