Weeknight Pasta with Spicy Scallops, Fiddlehead Ferns and Mozzarella
2 oz dry spaghetti (I used whole wheat bionaturae spaghetti. I actually like the flavor of it.)
1-2 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped into chunks
1 medium leek, chopped in short thin strips, white & light green only
4 oz fiddlehead ferns, cleaned and trimmed (can sub asparagus, tender wild greens, or chicories)
1 C white wine
1 T butter
2 tsp chili flakes, divided
salt & pepper
Salt & pepper the scallops; sprinkle sparingly with chili flakes. Bring water to boil, and prep all ingredients.
Begin cooking the pasta. Meanwhile, cook the leeks at medium low heat for 5-10 minutes until coloring. Add 1 tsp chili flakes and fiddlehead ferns. Cook 2 minutes at medium high heat. Add about 1/2 C white wine and cover loosely with a lid; reduce heat to medium.
In a very hot pan (cast iron would work best), sear the scallops and turn only when browned at high heat. If sticking when turning over, do not force. Add 1/2 cup wine, wait a moment and wiggle them free to flip.
Add the pasta to the fiddlehead and leek mixture, turning heat up to medium high. Add the mozzarella and toss quickly. Plate with the scallops on top.
I had occasion to cook last night– a Sunday– and was feeling pretty inspired by a very solid weekend of good eats. Friday night a feast in our back yard, Saturday a hike from our doorstep to the top of twin peaks, down into the mission for a stop at Delfina Pizzeria, an errand at Tartine (here’s a hint: it involved walnut bread, croissants and an eclair) and another at BiRite (which involved this steak) and yet another feast in our back yard.
There is a huge collection of cookbooks in my living room. You can tell they aren’t used often because they’re behind glass, stacked with ornamental things on top that would have to be moved to use them. I woke up around 9 on Sunday and tip toed into the living room to loot a few, returned to bed and did the most serious reading I’ve probably done since college…and the result, my final paper, if you will–this menu.
Scallop in Fava & Pea Puree from Amuse Bouche (slightly altered for scale and for oil content)
Clams with White Beans, Sausage & Chard from Amuse Bouche (altered significantly)
With Vermentino from Sardegna
Creme Fraiche Pannacotta with Strawberries (From Sunday Suppers at Lucques — perfect as is but would use more milk/less cream next time)
with Moscato di Asti