This scallop and spaghetti dinner with a creamy sauce is fast and easy. The scallops cook a bit longer than many chefs do, but that gives the dish more flavor and they're still tender and moist.
- 8 ounces uncooked thick spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound bay scallops
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup dry sherry
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, divided
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, about 10 minutes or 1 minute less than directed on the package.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. When oil just starts to smoke, add scallops and move them into a single layer. Let sear on high for 60 seconds. Toss to turn. Add butter and stir scallops until butter melts. Stir in garlic. Add lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Stir in sherry and cook and stir until alcohol cooks off, about 1 minute. Pour in cream. When mixture begins to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Drain pasta. Transfer to skillet with scallops; bring to a simmer. Add half the parsley. Cook until pasta is heated through and tender, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Grate generously with grated cheese. Add the rest of the parsley. Serve in warm bowls.