Saturday, April 17, 2010

Angel Hair Pasta with Scallops and Arugula

We are fortunate here at the Jersey Shore to have the sweetest, most delicious day boat scallops available locally.  They bear no resemblance to the water added scallop products found in most grocery stores.  The scallops are so fresh and sweet that I am tempted to eat them raw!  They are also a bargain at $10.99 per pound from my favorite seafood store, Point Lobster Company in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.  I have been a loyal customer for years and I absolutely love the place.  I highly recommend them for fresh lobsters, scallops, flounder, and fluke. 

I was looking for a nice light preparation for the scallops and came across this recipe on the Williams-Sonoma website.  I loved the combination of the shallots, peppery arugula, briny capers, and the crunch from the pine nuts.  The flavors complimented the fresh scallops without overwhelming them.  This is a  great light meal to eat on the patio with a glass of wine. 

Angel Hair Pasta with Scallops and Arugula


1 1/2 lb. large sea scallops, side muscle
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Leaves from 2 or 3 large fresh thyme sprigs,
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
5 shallots, minced
1 lb. angel hair pasta
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed
and drained
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 large bunch arugula, preferably small
leaved, stems removed


Rinse the scallops and dry well with paper towels. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy fry pan over high heat, warm the olive oil until it shimmers. In batches without crowding, add the scallops and sear until nicely browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the scallops over and brown the other side, about 1 minute more. Return all the scallops to the pan, add the lemon zest and thyme, and cook for a moment. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to a bowl. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter and shallots to the pan. Sauté until softened, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 3 to 4 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, add the lemon juice and stock to the fry pan and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom. Simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.Drain the pasta well and add it to the fry pan. Add the scallops and any juices that have accumulated, then add the capers and pine nuts. Toss over low heat to finish cooking the scallops and mix the ingredients, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Transfer to a warmed large, shallow bowl, add the arugula leaves and toss gently. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.


  1. That is one perfect, gorgeous meal for al fresco dining. Yes, you are indeed fortunate to have scallops fresh!

  2. Thanks for the tip on where to buy those lobsters. I do get over to Point Pleasant during the summer from time to time. That recipe looks so delicious with all those bright and clean flavors.

  3. Having a good local place to purchase scallops is wonderful. There is no comparison to fresh scallops. The pasta dish is screaming that Spring has really arrived.

  4. Along with crab, scallops are one of my favorite seafoods...I need to make them more often! :) Your pasta looks divine!

  5. What a delicious pasta - I love scallops.

  6. Gorgeous pics Jen!
    I will check out this place in P.P. when I am down in Manasquan this summer.

  7. Made this for dinner last night, it was great! This is definitely going into the 'keeper' recipe box, thanks so much Jen!

  8. Eileen - I am so glad that you enjoyed it!