I love all kinds of seafood, but shellfish are among my favorites, and scallops are my favorite type of shellfish. They are very healthy and nutritious, and are very versatile in the kitchen. You can cook them in so many delectable ways. Yum, yum! I also love, love, love pasta, and again, the possibilities are endless on the varieties of pasta dishes. Mixing scallops and pasta together … a little bit of Heaven.
I hate it when Larry goes shopping. It’s always a crap shoot when he does because you just never know what he is going to come home with. But, when he comes home with only bits and pieces of things I need, I summon my muse and get even more creative than normal. The other day Larry bought scallop pieces rather than whole scallops, so when it came time to cooking them, I did not have enough scallops for the dish I was preparing. I hate it when this happens. By the time I realized I did not have enough scallops for a meal for the two of us, everything else was already prepared, and I had to quickly rummage through the fridge to see what I could add to my recipe that would not take a lot of additional preparation time and effort. I had some ham that was already cooked, so I added that to the recipe. Ham and scallops go together very well, and when I added the mushrooms and asparagus, it all came together perfectly, especially when served with homemade olive bread and a light sauvignon blanc. Delicious!
Scallops, Ham and Vegetable Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce
1 lb sea scallops, cleaned and rinsed
1 lb cooked ham, cubed or sliced
1 TBSP garlic
1 shallot, sliced very thin
3-4 tomatoes, cubed – I used heirlooms
2 cups asparagus, cut into pieces about 1-2 inches
2 cups sliced mushrooms
salt & pepper to taste
1/2- 3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy whipping cream’
1/2 cup or so of mozzarella cheese
1 TBSP lemon juice
1-2 tsp each, fresh oregano, thyme and basil
olive oil and butter for cooking
cooked pasta – I used spaghetti
Cook the scallops in the butter and olive oil until they are browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Once the scallops are cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside.
Once the scallops have been removed, add the wine to the skillet and cook it down for about 2-3 minutes, making sure to scrape all the drippings from the scallops. Then add the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, cream and cheese and combine everything together well.
Mix everything together well and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
While the sauce is cooking, cook the mushrooms and asparagus in olive oil until they are tender. I prefer the smaller asparagus, but if you are using larger ones, par-boil them first for about 3-4 minutes.
When the vegetables are cooked, add them to the sauce along with the scallops and ham. Mix everything together well. Cook just long enough to heat everything up. Incorporate the herbs and the lemon juice then serve it over pasta.
Now it is time to sit back, relax and enjoy.