As primo for our X-mas dinner this year I made these wonderful ravioli stuffed with scallops and parsnip. The inspiration for this recipe came from Niki Segnit’s The Flavour Thesaurus. The combination of parsnip puree and scallops works really well, and to enhance the flavor I also added chopped tarragon. If you can obtain fresh scallops in the shell, consider using those for the seared scallop that is served with the dish. Fresh scallops in the shell are more expensive, but taste better and will also sear more easily. The recipe will work well with scallops sold out of the shell as well, and for the filling you will hardly notice the difference.
For 4 servings
250 grams (1/2 pound) scallops (only the white meat) + 4 additional scallops
1 clove garlic
250 grams (1/2 pound) parsnip
100 ml cream (3/8 cup)
100 grams (3/4 cup) flour for pasta (half semola, half 00)
salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cut both ends off the parsnip, peel it and cut into cubes. In a pot with cover, melt some butter and add the parsnip. Add the cream, salt and freshly ground white pepper. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or as long as needed until the parsnip is tender, stirring now and then.
Use a food mill to make parsnip puree.
Cut the scallops into small cubes. Pat dry with paper towels.
Heat a scant amount of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the clove garlic and sautee until golden. Discard garlic. Add scallops and sautee for 1 or 2 minutes until golden. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper and take off the heat.
Take the leaves off the tarragon and chop.
Add the scallops with all the pan juices to the parsnip puree. Add chopped tarragon and about 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix thorougly and taste to see whether more salt, white pepper or lemon juice is needed. Remember that filling for stuffed pasta always needs to be slightly stronger tasting than you would like the final result to be. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least one hour.
Make pasta dough using 1 egg and 100 grams of flour and make ravioli according to my instructions. Cook ravioli for a few minutes in salted boiling water, drain and serve with melted butter, the other 2 tablespoons of chopped tarragon and one seared scallop per plate. (To sear the scallop, pat dry and cook around 1 minute per side in olive oil on very high heat in a non-stick frying pan. Season with salt and pepper.)
This dish has a complex buttery taste so it goes well with a complex buttery chardonnay. This very nice 2005 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er cru was an excellent pairing.