Guy Fieri made this dish – pappardelle pasta with scallops, lightly wilted argula, mushrooms, and a light drizzle of truffle oil – on his show recently and the way he made it just looked so yummy and easy. Perfect for a one-dish dinner party. Just make it, serve it, and voila, you’re done! Maybe buy a tub of ice cream for dessert if you’re really ambitious :)
Scallops are an ingredient I’m kind of terrified of. They seem so easy to over- or under-cook. Luckily, I found Tasty Kitchen’s extremely detailed tips on how to properly cook this intimidating ingredient:
1. Cook your pasta in salted water: Bring a big pot of water to boil and add enough salt so it’s slightly salty. This gives your pasta flavor and you’ll end up using less salt or sauce in your dish.
2. Everything ready to go: This dish cooks up so quickly that you really need to have all your ingredients prepped and close by. You don’t want the seafood to get cold while you’re furiously chopping tomatoes.
3. Dry seafood: Before you begin cooking, you really want to pat your seafood very very dry. And I don’t mean a sloppy dry. Use a couple of pieces of paper towel and really make sure that you blot all the moisture away. The reason this is so important is because seafood cooks really quickly. Any moisture on the seafood will end up steaming the seafood instead of pan-frying it.
4. High heat or low heat—no middle heat: Here’s my rule for cooking small pieces of seafood, like scallops, shrimp, or chunks of fish. Either go high heat or low heat, but not in the middle. The high heat will give you a wonderful sear, that charred crust that I will give up my Gucci purse for. A low, slow heat will gently cook the seafood so that it has a silky texture, but that’s for another lesson.
5. Don’t overcook your seafood: I know it’s obvious, but I do have to say it. For scallops and shrimp, they really only need a couple of minutes on each side. If you’re using small bay shrimp (about the size of a small marshmallow) – 1 1/2 minutes on each side or less.
I have to screw up my courage and just cook scallops eventually, because a) I love them generally, and now b) I really want to make Guy Fieri’s pasta dish.