Cymru Culture

Articles / Erthyglau

Roasted scallops with green pesto, fresh pasta and basil

(June 01, 2014)

Roasted scallops with green pesto, fresh pasta and basil
(this dish is suitable for pesco-vegetarians or, without the scallops, for vegans)

Roasted scallops with green pesto, fresh pasta and basil

This dish looks really impressive, but is relatively simple to do. I use frozen scallops from M&S (which at £8.00 are a considered purchase, but in terms of size and quantity represent excellent value for money - and always purchased when on a multi-buy offer!) and fresh pasta, which means the dish does not take long to prepare.

Also, I used pre-made green pesto sauce (again from M&S) just for convenience. But making pesto is relatively simple, and we'll feature a pesto recipe in a future edition.

Finishing touches are basil leaves and pre-roasted pine nuts.

Ingredients:

  Scallops (queen size): from the fishmonger/supermarket of your choice
  Pre-made green (or red if you prefer) pesto sauce
  Fresh pasta (I used tagliatelle)
  Fresh basil leaves/plants
  Pine nuts (partially roasted beforehand)

Firstly, defrost (if using frozen overnight) scallops, or if using fresh, wash under the tap removing all dark or sinew-like items. Dry to remove excess water and set aside in the fridge until ready to roast.

Roasted scallops with green pesto, fresh pasta and basil

Remove from basil plant some lovely large and richly coloured green leaves, wash and set aside (as these will be used for decoration at the end).

Roasted scallops with green pesto, fresh pasta and basil

Take a generous handful of pine nuts (which form part of a traditional pesto sauce recipe, so will go well with the dish) and roast on a gentle heat until they turn golden brown. Remove from the pan once the desired colour has been achieved. Don not leave in the pan, as even though the heat has been turned off, the nuts can still go on to burn, due to the pan's residual heat.

In a non-stick frying pan, melt some Welsh butter with some oil (to avoid burning the butter) and when bubbling gently, add the scallops. I would suggest doing two batches as you do not want then Scallops to stew (this can happen if too many are cooked at the same time due to moisture release) and you want a caramelised and nutty roasted-effect achieved on the outer-edges of the Scallops.

I would suggest cooking the scallops for 3-5 minutes per side, then removing from the pan and placing on a heated dish/place in the oven on a low temperature until all the Scallops have been cooked.

Roasted scallops with green pesto, fresh pasta and basil

Whilst cooking the Scallops, add the fresh pasta to boiling water and stir, keeping an eye on it, as it will only take 4-5 minutes to cook (at most).

Once the pasta is cooked, drain, and add to a large bowl. Add the pesto sauce and, using a noodle hook (or something similar), mix the hot pasta and pesto sauce together so the sauce is evenly distributed.

Add the pasta and pesto sauce to the plate, then add the Scallops. To finish, decorate with the pre-roasted pine-nuts and basil leaves.

Roasted scallops with green pesto, fresh pasta and basil

And maybe a sprinkling of Parmesan just to finish?

Enjoy!

Claire Meredith, June 2014

Also from the Head Chef at Tŵr Cymru Culture Towers:
      Home-made hummus, June 2014

     
Salmon and Thai fishcakes, June 2014

     
Welsh blue cheese risotto with oven-roasted sea bass, June 2014

     
Artisan rice pudding with blackberry compote, March 2014

     
Coquille Saint-Jacques, March 2014
     
Salmon teriyaki with pumpkin seed crust, March 2014
     
Vegetable spring rolls, December 2013
     
Broad bean, wasabi and crème fraîche pâté, September 2013
      Salmon ramen, September 2013
      Carmarthen Canapés Caerfyrddin, June 2013
      Apple and elderflower crumble, March 2013
      Smoked salmon puff pastry parcels,
March 2013
 
     The only Welsh cakes recipe you'll ever need, June 2012
     
Roast butternut squash, garlic and sweet chilli soup, March 2012

      Cauliflower, roasted onion and Welsh cheddar soup, March 2012
      Tiramisu, March 2012
      Smoked mackerel and horseradish pâté with hot brown seeded-rolls, September 2011
      Almond, cherry & Bourbon tart, September 2011
      Chic party food ideas 3, June 2011
      Smoked mackerel and horseradish pâté with hot brown seeded-rolls, September 2011
      Almond, cherry & Bourbon tart, September 2011
      Chic party food ideas 2, June 2011
      The cupcake revolution, February 2011
      Chic party food ideas, February 2011
      Stylish party canapes, September 2009

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