Scallops were on sale if bought by the kilo (2.2 lbs), so I smoked some as an appetizer and cooked the remainder sous-vide to be able to keep them longer. But you can also prepare this dish using raw scallops. With the first batch of cooked scallops I improvised a pasta dish with bell peppers, anchovies and tomato that was so good, that I decided to use the second and final batch to make the exact same dish, and blog about it. This is one of those dishes that takes about as long as it takes to boil the pasta.
For 2 servings
300 grams (.66 lb) scallops, raw or cooked sous-vide
150-200 grams (.33-.44 lb) short pasta, I used tortiglioni
2 red bell peppers, in strips
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1 clove garlic, thickly sliced
160 ml (2/3 cup) sieved tomatoes (passata di pomodoro, tomato puree)
1/2 tsp chili flakes
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 basil leaves, sliced in narrow strips with a very sharp knife
I cooked the scallops sous-vide for 2 hours at 55C/131F. This will pasteurize them, so you can keep them for a longer time in your refrigerator or even freeze them.
If you cook them sous-vide to use them directly in this dish, chill them in cold water first to prevent overcooking the scallops as you sear them.
Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. If you had cooked the scallops sous-vide, reserve the liquid from the bag.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the scallops, and sear them over high heat for 1-2 minutes per side. (This is the same for raw scallops or scallops that were already cooked sous-vide and then chilled.) Only for really fresh scallops that were just shucked it is easy to get a nice sear, as thawed scallops release a lot of liquid. Sous-vide scallops are in between, as they don’t release as much liquid as thawed scallops.
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Take the scallops out of the pan and reserve. Add a thickly sliced clove of garlic to the pan, without cleaning the pan. Count and remember how many slices you added (so you will know how many to remove later on).
Add 2 red bell peppers, sliced into strips and then halved. The bell pepper strips should be roughly the same size as the pasta. Stir the bell peppers over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.
Lower the heat to low and make some space in the center of the pan. Add the anchovies, and stir over low heat until the anchovies have melted.
Add a half teaspoon of chili flakes and stir over medium heat to incorporate the chili flakes and the anchovies.
Add 80 ml of dry white wine…
…and the liquid from the bag in which the scallops were cooked sous-vide (if using).
Bring this to a boil, then add 160 ml (2/3 cup) of passata.
Bring this to a boil, stirring, then lower the heat to low. Simmer the sauce while the pasta is boiling, stirring now and then.
Boil the pasta for 1 minute less than the time indicated on the package for al dente. Add salt to the pasta water.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the scallops and season them with salt.
Remove the garlic from the sauce.
When the pasta has finished boiling, add the scallops to the sauce…
…as well as the drained pasta.
Stir over low heat until everything is mixed well. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt.
Serve at once on preheated plates, garnished with basil.
We enjoyed this with a Vermentino di Gallura from Sardinia.