One of my favorite seafood options has got to be scallops! They have a similar taste profile to lobster, but slightly firmer, delicate, and sweet! Bay scallops may be smaller than it’s more famous sea scallop counterpart, but it’s smaller size makes it a perfect addition to a seafood pasta dish! You can also never go wrong with the addition of shrimp as well. A fan-favorite, shrimp are easy to get, and easy to work with. It’s fast cooking time makes it such a convenient addition (and a necessity) for this spaghetti!
This recipe also uses home-made tomato sauce. My love and respect for store-bought, jarred tomato sauce will always be there, as it makes cooking spaghetti so easy and convenient. However, the extra time and effort that you put into making fresh home-made tomato sauce can bring your spaghetti to the next level of freshness, fragrance, and flavor that you once thought would be im-pasta-ble to achieve.
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
-1 packet (12 oz) of spaghetti (I used Barilla brand)
-2.5 lb (about 6) vine tomatoes
-4 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/2 white onion, diced
-1/2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
-2 Tbsp unsalted butter
-1/2 cup chopped basil leaves, save some for garnish
-1 lb large shrimp (approx 20 shrimps), de-veined, de-shelled, and beheaded
-2 lb bay scallops
-Kosher salt, to taste
-Black pepper, to taste
-Blender or Food Processor
Home-Made Tomato Sauce
1) To peel tomato, score a shallow “X” at the bottom of each tomato
2) Place tomatoes one-by-one gently into a pot of boiling water and allow to sit about 15 seconds
3) After 15 seconds, take tomato out of boiling water and place into an ice bath to stop the cooking process (you don’t want to actually cook the tomato, just heat-shock it enough so the skin peels easily)
4) Remove tomato from ice bath and peel off entire skin of tomato
5) Cut tomato into quarters and place into blender or food processor. Blend it at low speed until it becomes a “sauce” or puree.
6) In a pan, heat some olive oil on medium heat. Add diced onion and red pepper flakes, and cook until onion begins browning.
7) When onion is browned, add minced garlic and stir until garlic begins browning (don’t overcook the garlic!).
8) Add the blended tomato sauce/puree into the pot and stir. Bring the sauce to a simmer for 25 minutes to thicken up the sauce.
9) At 25 minutes, add butter to the sauce and mix until butter has melted into sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste (you will need a couple healthy pinches of salt and pepper, use up to your preferred saltiness level).
10) Turn off the heat and add chopped basil leaves (save some for garnish). Stir and enjoy the pleasant fragrances that will motivate you to finish this dish.
Seafood Spaghetti Prep
1) Cook your spaghetti al-dente as per the boxes recommendations
2) For scallops and shrimp, dry each side with a paper towel (especially important to dry the surface of the scallops)
3) Season each side with kosher salt and black pepper
4) In a pan, heat up olive oil in medium high heat. When oil is heated, add the scallops and cook each side for 1 minute. Work in small batches at a time until all scallops are slightly browned
5) Remove scallops from pan, and add additional olive oil. Add shrimp to pan and cook each side approx 2-3 minutes.
6) Remove shrimp from pan. Add the home-made tomato sauce to the pan and spaghetti. Re-add the cooked scallops and shrimp, and stir to mix everything up
7) Remove pan from heat once everything’s mixed. Add some of the leftover basil as garnish and enjoy a meal that you won’t forgetti about!
1) Don’t try to cook your scallops all in one go. It can over-crowd the pan and make it hard to turn each one around. Overcrowding the pan can also release tons of liquid from the scallops into the pan, and you’d be essentially boiling your scallops at this point, which may make it dry and chewy
–Dinner At The Zoo’s Seafood Spaghetti Recipe