Sautéed Scallops with Cime di Rapa, Garlic, and Chili Pepper

Cappe Sante Saltate con Le Cime di Rapa

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • For

    4

    persons

Appears in

Marcella Cucina

By Marcella Hazan

Published 1997

  • About

Scallops have the sweetest taste of any seafood, a most companionable taste that makes possible a wide, and sometimes surprising, variety of flavor harmonies. The recipe below is one of the best examples I have ever found of that delicious versatility

We are accustomed to enjoy, in the cooking of Apulia, by whose flavors this recipe is inspired, the rustic, teasing bitterness of cime di rapa, the intensity of anchovies, the provocative call of chili pepper, but they are never more appealing than when they are presided over by the endearingly gentle taste of scallops.

Ingredients

  • pounds cime di rapa, also known as rapini or broccoletti di rape
  • Salt
  • 1 pound scallops, preferably bay
  • 8 anchovy fillets, preferably the ones prepared at home
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped garlic
  • Chopped chili pepper, teaspoon or to taste

Method

  1. After detaching and discarding the thickest, toughest stalks of the cime di rapa, use a paring knife or a peeler to trim away the tough outer skin of the others. Wash the vegetable in several changes of cold water.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add at least tablespoons of salt—which will not make the vegetable salty but will keep it green— and put in the cime di rapa. Cook at a steady but gentle boil until the thickest portions feel tender when prodded with a fork, about 7 minutes. Drain and let the vegetable cool down for subsequent handling.
  3. While the cime di rapa is cooking, trim away the tough white tendon attached to one side of the scallops. If the scallops are of the large sea variety, cut them into two or three pieces. Wash them in cold water, drain, and pat dry with a clean dish towel.
  4. Chop the anchovies very, very fine to a pulp.
  5. When the cime di rapa is cool enough to handle, chop it up coarsely.
  6. Put the olive oil and garlic in a 12-inch skillet and turn on the heat to medium high. Cook the garlic, stirring it frequently, until it loses its translucency and becomes colored a warm white. Turn the heat down and add the anchovies, stirring them constantly with a wooden spoon until they dissolve into a paste.
  7. Add the cime di rapa, turn the heat up again, and with the wooden spoon turn the vegetable over several times to coat it well. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then add the chili pepper, turning the cime di rapa once or twice.
  8. Add the scallops, turn them over a few times, and cook just until they become colored a flat white, about 2 minutes. Add salt, stir, taste and correct for seasoning, then pour the entire contents of the skillet into a warm platter and serve at once. It would be nice to have good crusty bread on hand to sop up the delicious juices.