It looks like summer is finally upon us, despite the fact that last week decided to grace us with some downright chilly that would've been more appropriate for late October, as opposed to mid-June. One of the joys of the Canadian climate, sadly.
My very favourite part of the warmer weather is that it means that the farmer's market returns to the park down the street, bringing with it an ever-increasing assortment of locally-grown goodies.
This week, the first sweet peas of the season made their debut, which is definitely cause for celebration in my books.
Sadly, this weekend's batch aren't quite sweet enough to eat straight out of the pod yet, but with a quick blanch in some boiling water (say, 2-3 minutes) to take out the starchy taste, they ought to be downright delicious... especially when you toss them into a ridiculously effortless pasta dish that comes together so quickly you'll have tons of time left over to enjoy the balmy weather.
The beauty of this dish is that the seared scallops make it seem like a restaurant-worthy meal that you've slaved over all night. However, the reality is that the scallops take literally minutes to sear into golden-crisp deliciousness, and the no-cook sauce is as simple as tossing freshly cooked pasta with a tub of ricotta, blanched sweet peas and a handful of other pantry ingredients.
No fresh peas at your market yet? Still not ready to let go of spring and move into summer? Never fear - this one is just as delicious if you sub in some asparagus or the last few fiddleheads of the season, gently steamed until tender-crisp.
Lemon-Ricotta Pasta with Seared Scallops
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 4 1x
- 1 box pappardelle or fettuccine pasta
- 12 large fresh sea scallops
- 4 tbsp good-quality olive oil, divided
- 1 tbsp butter
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups fresh green peas, shelled and blanched
- 4 tbsp fresh thyme, minced (pref lemon thyme, if you have it)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 container (475g) ricotta cheese
- Cook the pasta per package directions until al dente.
- While pasta is cooking, rinse scallops and pat dry. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter over high heat in a skillet until foamy. Sprinkle scallops with a little salt and pepper; place in skillet in single layer. Cook, turning once, until brown on outside and just opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Drain pasta and return to the pot over low heat. Stir in lemon zest, juice, remaining 3 tbsp olive oil, peas, and thyme. Toss to coat, then season with salt and lots of pepper. Add the ricotta and mix gently until pasta is coated evenly.
- To serve, divide the pasta between four plates, topping each with three scallops and a sprig of fresh thyme.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Main
sharon julius says
Made this with a bit modifications. Added aspargus and lobster. The ricotta made the sauce light which is good change from heavy cream. This was a big hit.
Isabelle Boucher says
Asparagus and lobster sounds delicious! Glad to hear it was a hit.
Matt A says
Thanks for the tips - I'll thin it a bit and make sure we use some nice ricotta. I think if I half the lemon I would have a reallllllly great dish for the family! :) Snap peas, scallops - nice combo for sure!
Sorry to hear it didn't work out for you, Matt. We're big lemon fans, so I tend to go a bit overboard on the lemon sometimes.
As for the sauce, one suggestion I can offer would be to save a ladleful or two of the pasta cooking water before draining, which you can use to thin the sauce. Also, you didn't mention what kind of ricotta you bought, but a full-fat ricotta would give you creamier results (low-fat tends to be much drier).
Matt A says
This looked so yummy but when we just made it (like literally 30 mins ago) the ricotta was so overpowering and the lemon was just a bit much. I do know how I'm going to modify it going forward but I think FWIW that's about 2-3x too much ricotta at least for the 4 of us that ate it tonight. It made the whole thing kinda dry and chalky instead of light like you'd expect seared scallops and snap peas.
The scallops were delicious, but the pasta sauce did not work out for me. Was way too thick to toss in with the pasta. It broke my noodles up and my arms got so tired from trying to mix it up. I tried warming it up in the microwave and that made it better, therefore I think next time I will make the pasta sauce first then mix it in with the noodles after thinning it as you suggested. I also had to triple season it. We like it bold. Definitely will retry to perfect though. Ahh, it is surely not for those watching their calorie consumption.
Isabelle Boucher says
Thanks for the feedback, Christie. I've found over the years that there are a couple of tricks with this recipe - one, the pasta needs to be just-cooked and piping hot when you toss with the sauce as the heat will help smooth things out, and two, adding a splash of the pasta cooking water can also help if your brand of ricotta is on the drier side. Hope that helps!
Totally agree it's not diet food, but this is what cheat days are for. (Well, this as chocolate cake. Mmmm.) :)
This looks so delicious! I havent made scallops in forever but I may try making this with shrimp.