Spinach and Garlic Angel Hair Pasta Nests were part of the box o’pasta I received for review from The Pasta Shoppe. I had never worked with pasta nests before but I have to tell you they are VERY tasty and fun! This pasta tastes just like my homemade pasta without all the work before hand – really delicious and super easy to make as you will see. They come 12 in a box and each nest is only 100 calories so you can determine how many you want to use in your meal.
We were splurging for this meal all around – I fully believe it’s OK to do that once in a while, as long as one is not eating like this every night a treat now and then is good for the soul. So I give you:
Seared Scallops on Angel Hair Pasta Nests in Vodka Cream Sauce
6 Spinach and Garlic Angel Hair Pasta nests
8 scallops, thawed if frozen and dried
4 – 6 tomatoes
11/2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
fresh ground pepper
1 TBS fresh herbs plus some for sprinkling – I used oregano, thyme and marjoram
salt and pepper
Make the Sauce:
Cut the cores out of the tomatoes and cut them into chunks. I used two different kinds of tomatoes; romas and an heirloom variety we grow called Black from Tula.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over med – high heat. Add the garlic. Stir it around until the aroma is released.
Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and let the tomatoes boil until they are quite soft.
Use an immersion blender to make a smooth sauce. If you don’t have an immersion blender carefully transfer the tomatoes to a regular blender and puree then return to the pot. Add salt and pepper but be lighthanded as the sauce is going to reduce.
Add the vodka and let boil for at least a minute. Add the herbs, reserving some to sprinkle over the finished dish. Add the heavy cream. Let the sauce simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Set a large pot of salted water on to boil.
Sear the Scallops:
Make sure the scallops are dry. Season them on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a non stick pan over med-high heat until hot. Sear the scallops until they get a nice brown color and cook for 2 minutes.
Turn them over and cook for two minutes on the other side. You can see the nice color I got on the scallops with my new non stick pan. I used no oil in the pan at all! Set aside and keep warm.
Cook the Pasta Nests:
When the water in the large pot comes to a boil, turn off the heat and drop the pasta nests into the water and cover the pot. Let the nests sit in the water for 5 1/2 minutes. The directions say 6 – 7 I think but I found this to be too long – maybe it’s my altitude? I don’t know. After experimentation I found that 5 1/2 minutes was perfect for me for lovely, al dente pasta.
Put it all together:
The vodka cream sauce will have reduced and thickened by a fair bit while you were preparing the scallops and pasta. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add a healthy amount of fresh ground pepper to taste.