Linguine with Bay Scallops and Pancetta
8 ounces linguine
1/3 pound pancetta, cut into large dice
1 pound bay scallops
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely diced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add linguine, and cook until not quite al dente, 9-10 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet on medium low and add pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered and the pancetta is well browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour the rendered fat into a separate bowl, leaving about a tablespoon in the bottom of the pan.
(Note: Try not to eat all the pancetta as you’re cooking the rest of the dish. Me? I didn’t touch a single piece. Not a one. *Whistles*)
Turn the heat up to medium high. Add scallops and cook until just browned and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove scallops to a separate plate and set aside.
Add 2 tablespoons of the pancetta fat to the pan. Add garlic and shallots and saute until just starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid is reduced by half.
Add butter, parsley and basil. Cook, stirring, just until the butter melts, about 1 minute. Add the cooked scallops and pancetta back to the pan. Stir in linguine and toss to coat.
One of those “accident” meals. I knew when I bought the bay scallops that I wanted to do a pasta, but I thought it would be an old one I used to make with Meyer lemon, chervil and breadcrumbs. Instead, I remembered I had a hunk of pancetta in my refrigerator and some shallots, parsley and basil to use, so this dinner was born.
This. Was. Spectacular. I don’t know about you, but when I combine shellfish and pasta, I don’t think there is any better sauce to bring the two together than one made with garlic, white wine and butter. The pork fat as cooking medium was just an added bonus… to say the least. I am definitely doing THAT again.
Speaking of which, if you can buy it nearby, I wholeheartedly, enthusiastically recommend Fra’Mani pancetta. I used it in another scallop dish not long back and now I am a loyal customer. I never even liked pancetta before I had theirs. And no, they didn’t pay me to say that.