A blog about making things - one small batch at a time

Seared Scallops w/ ‘Drunken’ Tomato Spaghetti

Seared Scallops w/ ‘Drunken’ Tomato Spaghetti

So far this morning I have eaten a quarter of a watermelon and a whole fresh tomato. Random, but so delicious. As you can tell, we have been eating quite well this summer – noshing away on farm fresh veggies and eggs from our CSA with the Eaton Farm.

But my favorite concoction so far has been this insanely delicious and easy seared scallop spaghetti with a fresh and spicy white wine tomato sauce.

Because just look at these tomatoes. . .

Fresh, beautiful summer tomatoes

Oh hello lovahhhs.

I made this dish a couple weeks ago during our family trip to Cape Cod – a many years tradition that has only gotten better as we ‘kids’ now have growing families of our own. The old beach shack has been replaced with a four bedroom, two and a half bath rental house with a slide and kiddy pool for tiny niece and nephew feet.

But not everything has changed. We adults still stay up too late, sharing stories, laughter and home-brew, of course. These are the moments summer is made of.


Can you tell I’m already missing it?

Easy Seared Scallops

The scallop dish was a special meal for my husband’s 30th birthday. His only request was seafood, so my mom bought a giant pail o’ diver scallops (God only knows what she spent), handed me a can of tomatoes and I got to cooking.

With just a few ingredients, I threw together a super flavorful, garlicky (and spicy) quick-cooking tomato sauce that we slathered on pasta and topped with these beautiful, giant, caramelized scallops.

Perfectly seared scallops

It was heaven.

As soon as we got back to Cin city, I knew I’d need to replicate the meal. This time, I used fresh tomatoes from our CSA because we had a ton of them, but you can easily substitute canned as I did in the first edition.

Scallops are actually quite easy to cook – don’t be overwhelmed if you’ve never done it. The key is quality scallops of course, high heat for that perfect sear, and not over crowding the pan. I found my scallops at the new Keegans in Hyde Park and they were UNREAL – highly recommend checking that place out.

chopped fresh tomatoes

This recipe really is easy, and perfect for a special occasion – Perhaps a romantic dinner with your love.

Seared Scallops over Drunken Tomato Spaghetti

Recipe serves two

  • 6-8 diver scallops, preferably dry (not packed in liquid)
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley, minced
  • 2-3 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced or one 16 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 package spaghetti or angel hair pasta, cooked to al dente

Start by getting water boiling for the pasta. Next, prep your tomatoes. For the scallops, add ~2 tbsp light olive oil or canola oil to a large saute pan over medium high heat (avoid non-stick). If you like a mild garlic flavor, gently crush your garlic clove with the side of your knife, let brown in the oil, and remove. If you like a bolder garlic flavor, mince and reserve the garlic for later.

Dry your scallops well with a paper towel (this will ensure seared perfection) and add to your hot, oiled pan. Make sure the scallops are spread out well – don’t crowd the pan! Once you’ve dropped the scallops on the skillet, don’t move them until they’re ready to turn. It will only take a couple minutes. They should be deeply golden and caramelized. Flip, season with salt and pepper, and cook on other side until both sides are equally seared to perfection. Set aside and cover with tin foil so they stay hot.

de-glazing with white wine

Now, add your white wine and de-glaze all that caramelized scallop goodness, using a wood spoon or whisk to loosen the bits from the pan. Now, add your chili flakes and garlic, and let simmer with the wine for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for approximately five minutes, or until the tomatoes start to break down into the sauce. Add the parsley, then season well with salt and pepper to taste. At the very end, add some butter to make the sauce extra delicious and velvety.

Seared Scallops over Fresh Tomato Sauce and Pasta

For a pairing, I’d either suggest the white wine you used in the sauce, or a refreshing beer like Sixpoint’s ‘Crisp,’ a snappy and delicious German style pilsner.

Take a big sip of beer and a slurp of spaghetti and enjoy!!

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