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Tomato Caper Seared Scallops with Bucatini Pasta

Cook: 45 minutes | Prep: 15 minutes | Serving: 4


1 pound bucatini pasta
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 pound large scallops
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 fresno pepper, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
½ cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Parsley, for garnish


  1. Add kosher salt to a pot of boiling water and cook the bucatini pasta until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water and then drain the pasta.

  2. Pat the scallops dry and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add scallops to the hot pan and sear for 1–2 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Flip and cook an additional 1–2 minutes. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Remove to a plate and set aside while you make the sauce.

  3. Bring the skillet back to high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is smoking hot, add the tomatoes, capers and fresno pepper. When they start to blister and get some colour, add the garlic and shallot. Once the shallot starts to look translucent, deglaze the pan with the sherry—watch out for flames. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, season with salt and pepper and turn the heat off.

  4. Add the lemon juice and zest to the sauce along with the drained bucatini. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce, adding reserved pasta water to thin the sauce if needed. Serve in a pasta bowl topped with a few seared scallops and fresh parsley.


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