This recipe for Linguine with Seared Scallops and Asparagus was one of those throw together meals for me to see if it would work…it worked perfectly! In the time it takes to cook the pasta…dinner is done!
Local to Charlotte? Head on over to The Carolina Meat & Fish Co. and grab super fresh, U10 dry-packed scallops. Plan on two to three scallops per person…these scallops are a generous size. If you are using U10-20…add one or two more per person. Do NOT buy scallops that are not dry packed. Dry-packed scallops will hardly lose any volume during the searing process…the others will lose at least 30% of their volume.
Start boiling a large pot of water for your pasta…do NOT forget to salt the water! Rinse your scallops and remove the foot (the side muscle). Lay scallops on paper towel to dry. Blot to dry well. Season both sides with kosher salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium to medium-high, add your asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for just about three to four minutes…you are only trying to soften the asparagus a little…you still want that crunch. Add one tablespoon of butter.
Add in your garlic and cook for an additional minute. Pour in your heavy whipping cream and cook for an additional two minutes…just enough to thicken slightly.
Add in the lemon zest.
Transfer finished pasta (al dente) directly to the pan…you want a bit of the pasta water to incorporate into the sauce. Coat pasta and keep on the lowest temperature setting as you prepare the scallops.
Melt three tablespoons of butter in a cast iron pan. As soon as the butter starts to sizzle, add in the scallops. I used a very large cast iron pan, so I was able to cook all ten scallops at the same time…if you are using a smaller one, you may want to sear in batches…adding too many at a time may not allow the scallops to sear properly.
Once you place the scallops in the pan…do NOT touch…allow them to sear perfectly on one side before you turn. They will only take a few minutes per side to get this amazing sear!
Place pasta in a serving bowl or keep in the pan…top with the seared scallops…add another touch of lemon zest and serve. ENJOY!