Valentine’s day is around the corner, and this lemon garlic scallop pasta is one of B’s favorite go-to fancy yet easy dishes. B is the most romantic person I know (definitely more romantic than I am). His language of love is gift giving and acts of service, and I’m a very lucky girl.
When we first started dating back in college, he would surprise me with tupperware of mangos and berries (my favorite fruits) and cooking for me. Nearly 12 years later, he’s just as romantic (now buying Costco crates of mangos and berries for me and the girls).
Italian food is a popular date night dinner but B and I are not big pasta eaters. Most of the time we find Italian restaurants to be overpriced, the dishes have little meat/seafood in ratio to the pasta, and Italian food is heavy.
This lemon garlic scallop pasta (adapted from A Couple Cooks) is the only pasta dish we actually make. It’s light and east to prepare for a weekday meal, but gourmet enough if hosting a dinner party for guests.
You could easily replace scallops with shrimp or other seafood. Isabelle is a huge fan of scallops (the bigger the better – she has been known to cry when we cut her “big scallop”).
Enjoy this meal on your next romantic dinner night in!
Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta
1 pound sea scallops
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces angel hair noodles
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lemon, zester
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil, to drizzle
Grated Parmesan cheese, for the garnish (optional)
PASTA: Boil the pasta according to package until it is just al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside,
SCALLOPS: Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops and sear for 1 to 2 minutes, until an even brown crust forms on bottom. Flip scallops with tongs. Cook additional 1 to 2 minutes on the other side, until a crust just forms on bottom and the center of the scallop is almost opaque.
SAUCE: Remove the scallops. Add the lemon zest, minced garlic, and chopped parsley. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release flavor from any browned bits stuck to the pan. Cook 1 minute until fragrant, adjusting the heat so the garlic is just sizzling but so it doesn’t brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Return the pasta and scallops to the pan with the sauce. Stir and cook for a few seconds until just warm. Serve with drizzle of olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!