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Scallops Cooked Just Right

October 20, 1994|BEV BENNETT

There are only two ways to ruin the tender, sweet scallop--cook it too long, and let it sit after cooking.

With that said, scallops are the perfect base for a 15-minute spaghetti dinner. Unlike reputedly fast recipes in which the sauce is started before the pasta, this recipe requires the reverse, since the seafood cooks in minutes. Remove scallops from the heat as soon as they've turned from milky to chalk white and feel firm to the touch. Do not overcook.

In about the time it takes to read the directions for a frozen dish and zap it, you can have a sweet, hot and slightly nutty-tasting spaghetti dinner.

SCALLOPS WITH BACON AND SPAGHETTI

8 ounces spaghetti

Salt

4 strips bacon

1/2 pound scallops

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup minced watercress

Freshly ground white pepper

Cook spaghetti in large pan of boiling salted water according to package directions.

Meanwhile, fry bacon in medium skillet until crisp. Remove bacon to paper-towel-lined plate. Set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat.

Cut scallops in half or into bite-size pieces. Add to skillet along with crushed red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-high heat until scallops are white and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

When spaghetti is tender but slightly firm in center, drain well. Add spaghetti to skillet. Add watercress. Crumble bacon and add to skillet. Season lightly with salt and generously with white pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

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