This recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma Collection series, Pasta, by Erica De Mane. A note about capers: Purchase capers packed in salt. They have a sweet, floral fragrance, as opposed to sharp-tasting brine-packed varieties (the vinegar variety changes the flavor of the caper). Ask for them at Italian specialty-food stores. To prepare salted capers, soak them in cool water for about 15 minutes, changing the water once or twice, to remove excess salt. Give them a final rinse and drain well. Estimated prep and cook time combined is 35-40 minutes.
- 1⁄2 lb large scallop, side muscle removed
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, zest of, grated
- 2 -3 large fresh thyme sprigs, leaves from minced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 shallots, minced
- 1 lb angel hair pasta
- 1 lemon, juice of
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1⁄4 cup capers, preferably salt-packed,rinsed and drained
- 1⁄2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 bunch arugula, preferably small leaved,stems removed
- Rinse the scallops and dry well with paper towels.
- Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
- In a large, heavy fry pan over high heat, warm the olive oil until it shimmers.
- In batches without crowding, add the scallops and sear until nicely browned on one side, about 2 minutes.
- Turn the scallops over and brown the other side, about 1 minute more.
- Return all the scallops to the pan, Add the lemon zest and thyme, and cook for a moment.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to a bowl.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the butter and shallots to the pan.
- Sauté until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
- Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 3 to 4 minutes.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the lemon juice and broth to the fry pan and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom.
- Simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Drain the pasta well and add it to the fry pan.
- Add the scallops and any juices that have accumulated.
- Add the capers and pine nuts.
- Toss over low heat to finish cooking the scallops and mix the ingredients, about 1 minute.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Transfer to a warmed large, shallow bowl.
- Add the arugula leaves and toss gently.
- Serve immediately.