Zucchini Pasta with Lemon Garlic Scallops
Zucchini Pasta with Lemon Garlic Scallops

Written by: Shannon Partrick

February 11, 2021
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Recipe

Zucchini Pasta with Lemon Garlic Scallops

After a long day during the peak of my first Whole 30 experience, I asked Tony if he’d be willing to cook dinner. As usual, he over delivered with a 3 course, candlelit meal served outside on our patio. The main course was this Italian-inspired dish with zucchini pasta ribbons coated in a light lemon sauce, local sea scallops, dollops of pesto and juicy wedges of late-season heirloom tomatoes (we’re very lucky to have these in southern California).

It was so delicious, not to mention terribly romantic, and I immediately thought this would make the most beautiful Valentine’s Day dinner at home.

Seasoning seafood with lemon, garlic and parsley is not only classic, but also one of the most undeniably, universally satisfying flavor combinations of all time. It’s a fantastic solution to keep in your back pocket for those inevitable “what’s for dinner” scenarios when you happen to have seafood on hand.    

Zucchini Pasta with Lemon Garlic Scallops

Notes

Take Care Not to Overcook the Scallops 

2-3 minutes on each side will be plenty. Keep in mind they will continue to cook internally once you remove from the heat. The last thing you want is the rubbery texture of overcooked scallops!

 

Zucchini Pasta Struggle 

Zucchinis are 94% water, and when exposed to heat, that water starts to release. The trick here is to add them to a warm sauce, and cook for a short window, less than 2 minutes is ideal. It’s very easy to end up with soggy pasta if you cook past that sweet spot.

 

Cooking Wine

In general, any dry white wine that you personally love drinking will double as an excellent wine for whatever you’re cooking. If you’re like me, and you don’t want to open a new bottle of wine every time a recipe calls for it, go out and get yourself a good bottle of dry vermouth. It will last in the fridge a long time, and it’s the perfect flavor profile for a white cooking wine. As Julia Child taught me, it’s better to use a good bottle of dry vermouth than the wrong bottle of excellent wine, which can completely ruin a dish. If you go the dry vermouth route, Dolin’s is a wonderful brand that’s widely available, and it just so happens to be fantastic in martinis as well.

 

Zucchini Pasta with Lemon Garlic Scallops

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Whole 30

Serves 4

Seasoning seafood with lemon, garlic and parsley is not only classic, but also one of the most undeniably, universally satisfying flavor combinations of all time.

Ingredients

For the scallops

1 lb sea scallops, dried well and seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil, for coating the bottom of a cast iron skillet

For the zucchini pasta and sauce

4 medium zucchinis
tbsp olive oil
4 garlic clovesfinely chopped
2 tbsp ghee
1 lemonjuice and zest
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1/4 cup white wineor chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley
pinch of roasted chili powder
salt and pepperto taste
vegan pesto, for serving 

Preparation

Wash the zucchinis and cut off the ends. Use a spiralizer to make the zucchini pasta and set aside.

Coat the bottom of a heavy cast iron skillet with olive oil. Add the dry scallops in a single layer, taking care to allow space between them (too close together and they’re prone to steam and will not develop a good crust). Sear until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes each side.

Add the ghee, lemon juice and zest, garlic, heirloom tomatoes, red pepper flakes and white wine to the pan. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes while stirring.

Stir in the parsley, then add the zucchini pasta and toss for 30 seconds to coat with the sauce. Add the scallops back to the pan and stir for another minute. Garnish with dollops of vegan pesto and serve immediately.

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