Simple Pasta with Leeks and Scallops

By • January 25, 2011 • 17 Comments


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Author Notes: One of my favorite extremely easy weeknight suppers is pasta tossed with caramelized leeks. It's so simple, but quite good. Then I just vary what type of protein I pair with it from sausage, to cheese, to scallops...the sweet, lightly briny flavor of scallops goes wonderfully with the caramelized leeks. And if you top the pasta with a couple of perfectly seared scallops, suddenly your easy weeknight supper turns into something you could serve on date night!fiveandspice

Food52 Review: It takes patience to caramelize anything, and I made the mistake of waiting until I was starving to start cooking this dish. It was torture smelling these leeks cooking down, but well worth the wait. This simple dish truly satisfies. The addition of lemon zest was inspired; I now can't imagine serving seared scallops any other way!avimom

Serves 2

  • 1/2 pound linguine
  • 2 medium leeks, washed and thinly sliced (the white and light green parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 pound sea scallops, with the muscle removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  1. Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium until foaming. Add the leeks and stir to coat. Sprinkle with a little dash of salt, then turn the heat to very low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they’re all wonderfully brown and caramelized. If needed, add a little water at any point if they are looking too dry.
  2. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add in your pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve a bit of the cooking liquid, then drain your pasta.
  3. Add the leeks and grated parmesan to the pasta. Then, pour your wine into the pan that you cooked the leeks in, turn up the heat to medium-high, and cook for a couple of minutes, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan into the liquid. Pour this over the pasta and leeks and toss everything together, adding a little pasta water to moisten, as needed. Cover lightly and set aside as you prepare the scallops.
  4. Pat the scallops dry and sprinkle them with salt and fresh ground pepper. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and sear on each side until they are brown and crisped on the outside and just opaque in the middle -- this only takes 2 minutes or so per side.
  5. Divide the pasta with leeks between two plates, then perch half of the scallops on top of each. Sprinkle the lemon zest and some freshly ground pepper over each dish. Finally garnish with the parsley and cheese, and serve. And don't forget to serve the rest of the bottle of white wine.

Tags: fast, leek, linguine, scallops, simple, white wine

Comments (17) Questions (0)

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13 days ago Lex Nelson

Just made this tonight, and it was great! Next time I would stir in the leeks, THEN add the cheese and stir into the pasta so they don't make cheesy leek clumps. But overall, this was fantastic. Very tasty and light!

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6 months ago Irene Quinones

I made this a month ago. I some how missed placed recipe. I finally found it. Can't wait to make again. A ten in my recipe book.

Sausage2

6 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks!

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about 1 year ago Jen Apelado

can i alternate the white wine with red or vodka?

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yes, I think you could. The red wine, of course, would change the color a bit, but I'd think the flavor of either would be nice.

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about 1 year ago bebe le perche

about to make this with chicken

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hope it went well!

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about 1 year ago walkie74

This beats the tar out of my usual recipe involving cream of mushroom soup and scallops. Way healthier, and probably tastes better too :)

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks! I hope you give it a try!

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about 1 year ago darksideofthespoon

I want to eat this. Now. D:

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I hope you do! :)

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about 1 year ago healthierkitchen

Great recipe! I love caramelizing leeks!

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks! Me too!

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over 1 year ago lapadia

Delicious idea!

Sausage2

over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks lapadia!

Flower-bee

over 2 years ago Droplet

I like how simple yet ellegant this is. I happen to also like raw leeks and thought it can also make a nice salad variation with some other pasta shape .Thanks for the idea.

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks!