November is the season for Nantucket Bay Scallops. These sweet little gems are about midway between a regular bay scallop and a sea scallop in size, and they’re perfect for simple, clean-flavored preparations like this pasta dish. My ex-husband used to make something similar (a recipe he ganked from some food magazine I’ve long forgotten), and I have updated it over the years by adding two of my favorite flavor boosters – chile flakes and fresh lemon zest. This dish is bright and tasty, comes together in literally minutes, and allows the delicious flavor of the scallops to shine. —lastnightsdinner
extra virgin olive oil
garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
dry white wine or white vermouth
Red chile flakes to taste?
Nantucket Bay scallops (or sea scallops, halved or quartered if large)
chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
Get a large pot of salted water boiling for the pasta.
Add the cappellini to the boiling pasta water and cook about 3 minutes, just until al dente. Remove the pasta from the water and place into a warmed serving bowl, adding a ladle or two of the starchy water to keep it moist.
While the pasta cooks, warm the olive oil in a wide skillet and add the garlic cloves and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to turn golden.
Add the wine and chile flakes and let cook for a moment before adding the scallops. Season the scallops with a bit more salt and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the scallops are just cooked through.
Stir the 1/4 cup of parsley and the lemon juice into the scallops and remove them from the heat. Pour the scallops and sauce over the cooked pasta and toss gently.
Divide between warmed bowls or plates and top each serving with additional chopped parsley, the grated lemon zest, and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs.