Flamed Scallops Pasta are flamed in Grand-Marnier and then served on a bed of quinoa fusilli filled with slightly cooked bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, lime zest and fresh basil for a delightful summer night meal!
Flamed Scallops Pasta is an excellent, simple dish made in no time. The sauce is mainly a little butter in which the scallops are seared before flaming and caramelizing with orange-flavoured cognac/brandy (Grand Marnier). Served on a simple quinoa pasta with juicy tomatoes, basil, pepper and lime zest.
Where I come from, the east part of Canada, scallops are pretty standard on our plates. Although, since I’ve been living in Spain, it got pretty difficult to find any and when I finally did, they cost so much… So I go to the freezer shop… yes, only frozen stuff of all kinds, and I get my Patagonian mini scallops occasionally. Strange… that in Spain, a seafood lover country, it’s hard to find any. Although in the West part of Spain, Galicia, they do have the delicious Zamburiñas, which are smaller.
Scallops are primarily wild in Canada, although the farmed shellfish are supposed to be environmentally sustainable. Scallops are little filters of the sea; they purify the water from suspended solids, bacteria, etc. They are beneficial for the sea and hardly need any antibiotics in those types of farming. It’s easy to pick them up when farmed, but in nature, they must be hand-picked; otherwise, the methods to collect them can harm the sea’s habitat. (Here an NYT article about it)
Scallops come in many sizes and forms; some, like in Canada, come whole with their shell, or some come with the coral (red part) still attached to it, and of course, there are many sizes. Back in my homeland, I was used to medium-sized scallops, which take slightly more time to cook, although, in this dish, I’ve used mini Patagonian scallops, which take barely 3 minutes to cook. So you’ll have to adjust your timing depending on the size of your scallops. The searing effect is much easier on a medium or enormous scallop with the mini kinds… they are cooking too fast to sear well, so I chose to flame them instead.
Of course, this is up to your taste and needs. I’ve used gluten-free quinoa pasta because I think quinoa and seafood are the perfect mix! Fusilli or any other form would work wonders for this dish; you are the chef!
Other Seafood Dishes
Flamed Scallops Pasta
- 30 mini scallops
- 200 g fusilli quinoa pasta (or normal fusilli)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 15 cherry tomatoes (cut into half)
- 30 g butter
- 30 ml Grand-Marnier Cognac (or Brandy)
- basil leaves
- lime zest
- salt and pepper
- Unfreeze the scallops (in cold water) and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Salt and pepper them up.
- Cook the quinoa fusilli al dente.
- Bring a wok or pan to medium-high heat, add the butter.
- Add the scallops, and let sear them (resist the urge to move them if you want flawless brown skin) for 3-4 minutes or until golden.
- Add the Cognac/Brandy and flame the scallops (turn off your fan before flaming).
- Add the pre-cut pepper, tomatoes and cook another minute just to warm them up.
- Add the pasta, salt, pepper and mix all together.
- Serve in a bowl, with a few basil leaves and lime zest on top.