Each week as I review scores of recipes, I am reminded of the endless possibilities in the culinary world—flavors, textures, temperatures, all waiting to be explored. Like any great adventure, disappointment and thrill are part of the risk and reward. However, summer is the perfect time to make basil pesto and grill fish, so my hope is this week will be in the thrill category. I will substitute cod in this dish as well as gluten-free pasta, since I already have it on hand. Though not as briny as scallops, cod should be a satisfactory choice—we shall see!
I hope you join me in this delicious adventure!
Grilled Sea Scallops With Pasta Rags and Homemade Pesto
1 pound fresh pasta sheets
3 tablespoons olive oil — plus
1 cup olive oil
Salt — to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper — to taste
2 cups fresh basil leaves – (packed)
1/2 cup pine nuts — toasted
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
24 fresh sea scallops — cleaned
1 pint tear or pear tomatoes, red or yellow
1 pound fresh asparagus — blanched
1 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms — cleaned
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Tear the pasta into 1-inch pieces. Drizzle a little olive oil into the water and add the pasta. Cook until tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the water and drain.
In a mixing bowl, toss the pasta with a tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In an electric blender, combine the basil, nuts, garlic and cheese. Blend thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in 1 cup of the oil. The mixture will be thick. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the grill. Season the scallops with a tablespoon of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the scallops on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until the scallops are firm to the touch.
In a sauté pan, over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are wilted.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetables and pesto. Mix well. Add the cheese and mix well. Readjust the seasonings if needed. Mound the pasta in the center of each serving plate. Lay the scallops over the pasta. Garnish with parsley.