1 pound dry spaghetti
¾ pound sea scallops, cut into quarters (or substitute with raw Gulf shrimp)
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus a pinch to taste
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon thinly sliced serrano or bird’s eye chile (or to taste)
Pinch red pepper flakes (or to taste)
¼ cup white wine
1½ tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
4-5 basil leaves, torn
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of ½ lemon
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add enough salt so that it tastes like the ocean. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
- Season the scallops with ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1½ tablespoons butter. Once butter is melted, add scallops to the pan and lightly sear on one side, about 1 minute. Add garlic, shallot, chiles, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine and cook until garlic starts to turn a light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine and cook for one minute more. Add olive oil, parsley, basil, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and lemon zest and toss to combine.
- Add cooked pasta to pan and stir to coat in sauce. Add reserved pasta cooking liquid to thin sauce as needed. Taste and adjust the lemon juice or salt.
- To serve, divide evenly into four bowls, top with seasoned breadcrumbs, and serve immediately.
- From Rebecca Wilcomb, Gianna, New Orleans, Louisiana