Editor’s note: Before you read this, check out The Most Romantic Thing a Guy Can Do This Valentine’s Day if you haven’t already, and also don’t miss Ben’s other recipes for coq au vin, rosemary nutmeg angel hair pasta, and a chocolate cremeux for dessert.
When it comes to homemade decadence, this winter recipe never fails. Some traditionalists believe that fish and dairy do not mix in Italian food. I could care less. The pairing of candied scallops on top of creamy pasta is heaven.
I’ve made the dish dozens of times. It’s rich, it’s feel-good and it’s very easy to make. The sweet elegence of saffron, combined with the comforting effects of good old-fashioned butter, parmesan cheese, and pasta, will help you segue into a memorable evening.
Candied Saffron Scallops
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
8 Sea Scallops
½ stick of butter
Step 1: Wash scallops, put in bowl and squeeze lemon on top.
Step 2. Melt butter down, on low heat, on non-stick pan. Make sure not to burn butter!!
Step 3: Add 1 teaspoon of saffron flower to butter. Stir until becomes orange in color.
Place scallops in butter. Carmelize both sides for about 7-8 minutes per surface. You will know the scallops are done when a carmelizing takes place on each side and the flesh begins to split open. When done, cover and set aside.
(Traditional alfredo sauce uses garlic. I take it out of this recipe. The sauce acts to compliment and not compete with the saffron.)
½ stick of butter
1 cup of shaved parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of heavy cream
Dry fettuccine (250g), half a pack.
Grate your cheese; set it aside.
Step 1. Melt ½ stick of butter into sauce pot. Once melted, add heavy cream and cheese. Stir until fully integrated. Crush fresh pepper on top, roughly half a tablespoon. The sauce will clump, so make sure you have stirred it thoroughly. Let it sit on low simmer.
Step 2. Once pasta water is at roiling boil, cook pasta until al dente (9-11 minutes).
Step 1: Drain pasta and add a splash of olive oil.
Step 2: Pour Alfredo sauce into bowl, shake and stir until pasta is fully covered.
Step 3: Plate pasta and place four scallops on top for each plate.
Bon Appetito! Dinner is ready.