Scallop & Garlic Fettuccine with Ladolemono (lemon & oregano infused oil)
(Χτενια με λαδολεμονο και μακαρονια)
Linguine or Angel Hair or Spagghetti would also fair well instead of egg fettuccine, although the latter is richer & works with the sharpness of ladolemono and the sweet umami of the little scallops.
- On scallops;
This will seem strange to most, but we prefer fresh frozen wild queen scallops, as opposed to fresh massive king scallops or the queens themselves -
-Fresh vs Frozen;
If you live somewhere very near the sea and you know your fishmonger's shelfish ( the ones that arent still alive ) are day fresh from boat to your plate and live next to the sea, then i d agree that fresh is better.
But to my experience, even excellent fishmongers in london sell scallops that taste less fresh than a well thawed frozen one. Thats partly because they freeze the frozen ones instantly once on the boat even, so theres a very small amount of the scallop being exposed at all, bar its time in the frost. It was probably alive when it got iced.
Anyhow, thats what we like - and for this pasta dish the small queenies are delicious. And as with any scallop; Do Not Move it while you re trying to brown it, and it will caramelise deliciously and before its overcooked in the middle. Flip once you can smell & see its edges browned.
The recipe is super easy but fairly performative - everything is done at once, and needs doing just at the right time. May need to test it to get perfect first.
- you need;
(for two )
-16 or so small queen scallops or bay scallops. If frozen, thaw over the day in your fridge or if in a rush, run under a tap with cold water for a few minutes, then leave carefully covered on the counter.
-some very good wild oregano, or the best oregano you can find.
-a sprig or two fresh thyme.
-1 small shallot
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
-garlic, 3-4 fat cloves
-corn flour, on a plate to dredge the scallops with.
-3 tbsp good EVO olive oil.
Set your pasta to cook a minute less than instructed on the packet. Dried good pasta is better than fresh on this dish.
- Put parsley, olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, the oregano & the thyme in a food processor and blitz to an emulsion. taste & season.
This is your ladolemono.
-Now dry the scallops on towels, really well. Season with salt, dredge in corn flour.
-finely chop the scallop, half the garlic - keep two cloves smashed but whole ;
-In a glug of olive oil (use your good stuff), in medium heat, brown the whole garlic cloves. Remove, tunr the heat up, add the scallops and do Not move for less than a minute. Then flip over and add the chopped garlic & shallots.
Saute until the shallots are browned and nutty but not quite starting to burn -
* quickly take out the scallops and lay on a plate.
carefully pour half the ladolemono on the pan's drippings & garlic etc, and add a tad of the pasta water to thicken / moisten the sauce.
Stir the cooked pasta in the sauce, serve with the scallops and their juices simply on top of the pasta. Add a spoonful or so of the rest of the ladolemono on & around the dish.