This is a delicious recipe from Marcella Hazan’s The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Marcella recommends using canestrelli which are tiny little sweet scallops which are also know as Queen Scallops or Queenies. We didn’t have canestrelli to hand when we made this but achieved a similar effect by chopping up larger scallops so there are lots of little pieces through the dish. Serve the sauce with spaghettini if you can get it, but thicker spaghetti will work too.
Scallop Sauce with Olive Oil Garlic and Hot Pepper – to serve 6
- 450g fresh queen or deep-sea scallops
- 8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp very finely chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- chopped hot red chilli pepper, to taste
- 450-675g pasta
- 45g dry breadcrumbs, lightly toasted in the oven or a dry pan
Wash the scallops in cold water, pat dry with a tea towel and cut into little pieces about 9mm thick.
Put the olive oil and garlic in a saucepan, turn the heat to medium and cook until the garlic becomes pale gold, add the parsley and chilli. Stir and add the scallops and a couple of large pinches of salt. Turn the heat to high, and cook for about 90 seconds, stirring often, until the scallops become opaque and loose their shine. Careful not to overcook them or they will be tough. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If there is a lot of liquid in the pan, remove the scallops with a slotted spoon, and boil down the watery juices. Return the scallops to the pan, turn quickly, then take off the heat.
Toss well with the cooked spaghettini, add the breadcrumbs and toss again.
Drink with: An easy, simple and fruity Grüner Veltliner (GV) works well by not overwhelming this delicate sauce and the spicy white pepper spices in GV complement the spices and chilli in the dish. Don’t spoil the balance by getting a powerful and complex GV.