Spaghettini with Bay Scallops

Spaghettini alle Cappe Sante

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This is one of my favorite of my mother’s recipes and this version has only some slight variations from the one in her second book. Its preparation takes very little time and is a perfect example of the Italian simple and direct approach to bringing out the flavor of the main ingredient. The bread crumbs add texture and absorb some of the olive oil and help it cling to the pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh sea scallops
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt
  • spaghettini
  • ¼ cup plain bread crumbs

Method

  1. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, cover, and place over high heat.
  2. Cut ¾ of the scallops into ½-inch dice. Finely chop the remaining scallops.
  3. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Finely chop the parsley. Put the olive oil, garlic, parsley, and crushed red pepper in a 12-inch skillet and place over medium high heat. When the garlic is sizzling add the diced scallops. Raise the heat to high, season with salt and cook until the scallops have lost their translucent color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chopped scallops; season them with a little salt and cook, stirring for another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, put in the spaghettini and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente. When the pasta is almost done, return the skillet to a medium high heat and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pasta water to loosen the browned tasty bits. When the pasta is ready, drain well and toss with the sauce. Add the bread crumbs, toss again, and serve at once.

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