~ Sea Scallops & Spaghetti w/Tomato-Cream Sauce~
Every once in a while, my ability to cook is overshadowed by my desire to cook something remarkably easy yet good enough to serve to guests -- no special skills, tools or knowledge required. Today is such a day. This simple, straightforward and scrumptious recipe, taken from the pages of absolutely nowhere, goes from stovetop to table in the time it takes to cook spaghetti, and, when beautifully plated, will bamboozle everyone into thinking I cooked all day.
"I dream of stirring cream into marinara sauce." ~ Melanie
The only thing more rewarding than having a freezer shelf full of my perfectly-seasoned ~ Fresh & Spicy Tomato-Basil Sauce (Marinara) ~ (made from our own garden's tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil), is being able to use it as a base for this decadent tomato-cream sauce. My recipe can be found in Categories 8, 12 or 22, but, feel free to use your own homemade marinara if you've got it on-hand. Store-bought? I think not, but, nonetheless, that choice is yours to make. My ratio is 2:1, or:
2 cups marinara sauce, preferably homemade
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
This can be changed to suit your taste, but, do not substitute half and half or milk. Just don't do that.
Pretty, pink & perfectly-seasoned sauce. Easy enough so far?
1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon sea salt
4-6 tablespoons butter
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, well-drained
the tomato-cream sauce
Note: While spaghetti is cooking, pat scallops dry as directed below.
~Step 3. Place the stockpot on the still hot/warm stovetop and toss in the butter and diced tomatoes. Ladle in two cups of the now lukewarm sauce, and, using two forks or two spoons, toss as you would a salad, until the pasta is lightly and evenly coated. Cover pot and set aside.
24 large, U/12 (12 per pound/2 pounds) wild, sea scallops, patted dry and placed on a layer of paper towels for about 5 minutes
6 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
freshly-ground red pepper flakes, 20-25 coarse grinds
~ Step 1. In a 12 " skillet, melt butter over low heat. Stir in salt and coarsely-ground red pepper flakes.
~ Step 2. Increase heat to medium-high/shy of high and add the scallops. Regulating the heat carefully, saute the scallops until lightly golden, turning only once, about 4-5 minutes on the first side and 3-4 minutes on the second side. The entire process will take 7-9 minutes.
~ Step 3. Turn heat off and use a pair of tongs to transfer scallops to a paper-towel-lined plate.
~ Step 3. Remove all but a scant 1/4" of the scalloped-flavored butter from the skillet. Stir in the remaining one cup of sauce and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Add the cooked and still warm pasta and toss until just reheated through, 45-60 seconds. Do not overcook.
Portion pasta into 4, 6 or 8 bowls (for a starter, luncheon or dinner course) & top each, respectively w/6, 4 or 3 scallops:
Special Equipment List: 2-quart saucier or saucepan w/lid; large spoon; 8-quart stockpot w/lid; colander; paper towels; 12" nonstick skillet; tongs
Cook's Note: For another super-easy way to prepare scallops, you might want to check out my recipe and method for making ~ Broiled Wild Sea Scallops w/Broiled Brown Butter ~, which can be found in Categories 3, 14, 20 or 21. Served atop a bed of my ~ Fluffy Lemon & Pepper Rice for Fish &/or Seafood ~, found in Categories 4 or 14, this is another bamboozler of an impressive meal fit for any fancy-schmancy occasion!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016)