Serving dinner to guests can definitely be intimidating, so anytime I find a dish that's worthy to make for others but still easy, I certainly hold on to it. This scallop, fennel and tomato pasta dish, adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, fits the bill perfectly for an elegant dinner for four. Although scallops can be on the pricey side, this entire meal still costs significantly less than any meal out at a restaurant and the scallops make the meal special enough for any occasion (Valentine's Day perhaps?). Depending on what your fish merchant has on hand, use either the small bay scallops or the larger ones cut into smaller pieces. The fennel has a very strong licorice smell when raw but mellows significantly to a mild, sweet flavor when sauteed. Give this dish a try the next time you're looking for something special or want to impress some friends.
Scallop, fennel and tomato linguine:
- 1/2-1 lb linguine-type pasta (I used spinach tagliatelle)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 1 medium onion
- 1 pound scallops
- 1 container cherry tomatoes (6 oz)
- 1/4 c dry white wine (use whatever white you want to serve with the dish)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lemon
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet.
Cut both the fennel and onion in half and then thinly slice.
Saute them in the hot oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, until lightly browned and tender.
Remove the fennel and onion, reserve in a bowl.
Add the final tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and saute the scallops till opaque, 2-3 minutes.
Put the scallops into the bowl with the fennel and onions.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half if they're large and saute for a few minutes.
Add the scallops, fennel and onions back to the pan along with the white wine.
Drain the pasta, add to the pan and toss to coat.
Squeeze a small slice of lemon over the entire dish and serve with an extra slice of lemon for each person and a side of fresh broccoli. Enjoy!
For a printable recipe click here