Olive oil, as needed
2-4 dry packed scallops, kept cold
4 tablespoons local country ham, cut into a small dice (no need to trim as you want the fat and sugary crystals for flavor)
1 minced garlic clove
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup chicken stock
⅓-½ cup heavy cream (40% butterfat), “Good” cheese/pecorino romano, grated fine on a micro plane (allow your taste to dictate amount)
Salt and pepper to taste
6 ounces homemade fettuccine (or your preferred store-bought brand)
2 packed cups arugula, cleaned and dried
1 cured egg yolk (recipe follows)
1 pound kosher salt
½ pound brown sugar
5 egg yolks
Cured Egg Yolk
- Boil a pot of salted, water, and add a little oil.
- Heat 2 sauté pans over medium heat (one to sear scallops, one to make sauce). Once hot, add a little olive oil to each.
- Season scallops with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Add diced ham to 1 of the hot pans and let it brown slightly. Add garlic and deglaze with white wine. Allow wine to reduce by ½ and then add stock. Reduce to almost a glaze.
- Add heavy cream and let it come to a boil. Then lower the heat and add cheese. Allow cheese to it melt, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.
- In the other heated pan, sear the scallops over high heat for 2 minutes, then lower heat for another 2 minutes. Flip scallops and turn heat back up to high to crisp the other side. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then remove the pan from heat and allow scallops to rest.
- To cook pasta, add fettuccine to the boiling salted water and cook until just under al dente. Add pasta to the pan with the ham and sauce base, tossing to coat and heating as needed to thicken. Season to taste and remove from heat.
- Add arugula to the pan with the pasta, tossing all to coat and gently wilting arugula. Arrange in a bowl or on two plates.
- Top with seared scallops and, using a microplane, grate the cured egg yolk all over the pasta and scallop (each dish will require approximately ¼ of an egg yolk).
For Cured Egg Yolk
- Mix the salt and sugar together and use half of this cure mixture to line the base of a small bowl.
- Crack the eggs, and separate the yolks. Reserve whites for another use.
- Place yolks over top of cure mixture, then top with remaining cure mixture. Be sure to completely cover yolks in cure. Wrap bowl with plastic and place in refrigerator to cool for 5 to 7 days.
- Check the yolks. Once they are firm to the touch, remove them from the cure and rinse off as best as possible. If needed, soak yolks in cold water for a bit, then wipe dry with a towel.
- Store cured yolks in olive oil until ready to use.
- from Chef Paul Verica of Heritage Food & Drink in Charlotte, North Carolina