Yoooo we made it to summer! Not only is my calendar telling me that, but the past week or so has been steadily in the upper 80’s, and my car engine is overheating…so I think it’s here to stay!
Of course, I’ve picked this hot, hot time to move. Par for the course, honestly. I’m about to start packing, so wish me luck. I really only have a little over week until my truck comes to haul everything up to Boston…and I have a lot of stuff you guys. I’ve gotten better at packing, but sometimes I end up diverting my attention to Netflix and telling myself “I’ll pack while I watch.” I do have quite a few episodes of West Wing left to watch…Yikes.
Anyway, let’s talk about this pasta! Because I’m gearing up to do a lot of work, I wanted this guy to be minimal effort. Hence the one pan! One-pan pastas are kind of magical, and I think I want to start doing everything this way. Especially because it’s summer now and doing a lot of stuff in the kitchen is kind of sweaty and gross, and why would you ever want more burners on than necessary in this heat? Exactly. Hello one pan.
So how does it work? Well, you’re essentially just boiling pasta like you would normally except you’re kind of crossing your fingers that your proportion of water and noodles is right. But I got you on that.
Remember when we made pasta? Well when you put the dried noodles into hot water, they begin to soak up water. We can touch on where we go from there with starch gelatinization from that mini tator tot hot dish of last year.
When we heat that starch with some water, the interior of the starch granules loosens up and rather dramatically inflates. That causes a big increase in the amount of space that the starch takes up in the mix which causes a big decrease in the amount of space allowed for the water to take up. The result? Lower mobility for the water and a big increase in thickness! What do we call that? Starch gelatinization! One of my favorite food science-y things.
While the noodles do increase in size while cooking, the starch gelatinization in this case has more to do with softening of the pasta. As the noodles soak up the hot water, the starch swells and softens the texture creating that perfect al dente dish!
Now that you’ve got all the secrets, let’s get crackin’. I picked two types of peas for obvious reasons, and the scallops have a fabulous sweetness that plays up the peas. A stock is used to boil the pasta in this one-pot wonder and becomes the biggest flavor in the sauce. Beyond that, we’ve got lemon and garlic and everything great for warm weather comfort. Enjoy! (While I sweatily bubble wrap all of my junk)
One-Pot Lemon, Pea, and Scallop Pappardelle
*Please prep all ingredients before you start cooking. It’s important to keep the scallops as fresh as possible once cooked, so you won’t want to delay the pasta!
Adapted from i am a food blog
Serves 3 generously
12 fresh scallops
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 ½ cups chicken stock
½ pound pappardelle
3 small lemons, zested and juiced (about ¼ cup juice)—if you have a larger lemon, it may only take you one rather than 3
½ cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 cup snap pea pods, trimmed and sliced into ¼ – inch pieces (about ½ cup after slicing)
A big handful each of basil and mint leaves, roughly chopped (a mounded ¼ cup total after chopping)
Salt and Pepper
- Using paper towels, pat the scallops dry on all sizes. This will ensure that they sear in the pan. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
- When hot, put the scallops in one layer in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes without touching them. Flip the scallops and cook for 3 minutes more. Remove to a clean plate and reduce the heat on the pan to medium.
- Optional: to keep scallops warm, turn your oven to its lowest temperature for a couple minutes (don’t preheat) then turn it off. Put the plate of scallops inside and take out once the pasta is done.
- Add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until the garlic softens and is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and uncooked pasta along with a generous sprinkling of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. If you have nests of pappardelle, you’ll want to flip and stir them after a couple minutes in the pan to ensure that all the noodles are in the cooking liquid.
- Remove the cover and give the pasta good stir. Add the sliced pea pods and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium and simmer off the cooking liquid, stirring every so often to reduce the liquid. After about 5 minutes, the liquid should be just coating the noodles. Add the defrosted peas, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and cook for another 30 seconds to meld the flavors.
- Turn the heat off and taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Arrange the scallops in the pasta and sprinkle with the herbs. Serve immediately!