Sweet Corn and Scallop Pasta
Scallops have a mildly briny, delicately nutty flavor that pairs extremely well with sweet corn. The key to properly cooked scallops is making sure they’re very dry, then allowing them to cook, undisturbed, to caramelize. Chopping the seared scallops into tender morsels helps to infuse the pasta with rich seafood flavor, while fresh corn adds texture to complement them. The emulsification of pasta water, butter and cheese creates a silky sauce for a satisfying pasta meal that still feels light.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1pound large or medium shell pasta
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1pound sea scallops, patted dry
- 2cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears of corn)
- ¼cup thinly sliced scallions
- 2garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ¼cup chopped basil, plus more for garnish
Step 1Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain pasta.
Step 2Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high. Season scallops with salt and pepper and add to skillet in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until golden underneath, about 2 minutes. Flip scallops and cook until golden on second side, 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board to cool.
Step 3Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, corn and scallions to the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice and stir to lift up any browned bits on bottom of pan.
Step 4While the corn cooks, chop the cooled scallops into 1/2-inch pieces. Return pasta, 1/2 cup of the pasta water, corn mixture, scallops and butter to the large pot and heat over medium. Cook, stirring vigorously, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and basil, and season with salt and pepper. (Add more pasta water if a thinner sauce is desired.)
Step 5Divide pasta among bowls and garnish with more basil. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired.