(Widow's Walk chapter 25)
There is no substitute for freshly made pesto when putting this dish together. Do not make the mistake of buying it from the supermarket; you will just be disappointed.
- 1/2 pound scallops
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 pound fettuccine or spaghetti
- pesto sauce (see recipe below)
If using large sea scallops cut each into three or four smaller pieces. Cook or heat the peas (frozen, fresh, or canned) and keep warm in the cooking water.
In a large pot bring 5 quarts of water to a full boil, then add pasta. Follow cooking direction and test to be sure it's cooked al dente; overcooked pasta is a travesty. Drain in a colander and transfer to serving bowl.
While it is cooking heat a fry pan and add a TBP of butter and a little olive oil. When this is bubbling nicely add the scallops and sauté until just done; scallops also suffer if overcooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add scallops and peas to pasta along with the pesto and toss to mix. The quantity of pesto to use is a question of your tastes.
- 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, washed, dried on paper towels
- 3 T pine nuts or walnuts or both
- 1/2 t salt, or to taste
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, more to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved, more to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano, or more Parmesan
Put basil, pine or walnuts, salt, garlic and olive oil in blender. Blend at high speed till smooth. You may need to stop the blender a few times to scrape down the sides. Empty the result into a bowl, add the cheese and mix with a fork to combine.
If making this ahead of time or you have extra place in a container covering the exposed surface with a film of olive oil (it turns very dark otherwise), cover with a tight fitting lid. It will keep in the fridge for two or three days or it can be frozen.