Pan-seared scallops with creamy pesto tagliolini nero seppia

Today was one of those days where I just felt absolutely rushed and tired. Perhaps it was because I'm still not 100%, but it could easily have been that I was running around from place to place. Today marked the start of the third of four modules in order for me to complete my PG Cert in Academic Practice, and it was also the BPS' 1st Research Day at the Senate House. It was a fantastic day overall; particular highlights were catching up with PsyPAG reps, and a 2-hour yoga class.

Unsurprisingly throughout yoga I was thinking about what I had at home to make for dinner. I decided that pesto and scallops were on top of my list. I had to stop at the shops to get scallops, and I was so hungry that I feel like I practically sprinted home (I'm sure in reality I didn't, ha). To go with my pesto was some tagliolini nero seppia from our holiday in Italy last summer. Of course at this point I was famished, so, I quickly whipped up what I thought was my classic pesto (which could've gone in my Academicook Classics category, ah well)...

Needless to say, I ended up making a creamier, nuttier pesto because I ground far too much Parmigiano Reggiano for the amount of basil I had! I also forgot to add garlic - shame on me!!! It was still amazing, and in fact, I quite prefer this to my original recipe (which I'll share with you at some point, of course)! Although, my taste buds are probably not to be trusted when I'm so hungry... So! Let's get to it: Pan-seared scallops with creamy pesto tagliolini nero seppia (what a blimmin' mouthful!)

 Tonight's feast...

Tonight's feast...

Pesto (good for 2 very large portions of pasta)
1 handful fresh basil leaves, washed
100 g Parmigiano Reggiano, ground
1 handful pine nuts
3 large glugs of extra virgin olive oil (it is essential to use high-quality oil!)
Juice of 1 medium lemon
Small handful of lemon rind/zest, for topping

Start by combining the cheese and the pine nuts, and pulsing this for 20 seconds on a grind setting. Incorporate all other ingredients and pulse for around 40-45 seconds on a grind setting. You can of course process it for longer, for an even creamier texture, however I left mine slightly chunky.


Pasta
Fill a medium-sized saucepan with water, bring to the boil, add salt, and cook pasta for 6 minutes. As this is cooking, you should be cooking the scallops. You'll notice from the photo above that I put two bits of pasta, as I really was hungry! Once cooked, drain the pasta, saving some of the pasta water. Mix the pasta and pasta with the pesto whilst it is still very hot, even leaving it a little while on a low heat if you want it piping!

Scallops
Approx 88 g scallops
Glug of olive oil
Pepper

Heat the olive oil, and once it is hot (careful not to reach smoke point!), sear the scallops for 2 minutes each side. Remove from the heat - at this point your pasta should be ready to be mixed with the pesto, so just let the scallops rest as you're doing this. Assemble the pasta and scallops on a plate, top with some pine nuts, grated lemon rind/zest, and freshly cracked black pepper.


If you aren't a fan of squid ink pasta, feel free to use plain (?) tagliolini, or tagliatelle! Oh and don't forget to serve this dish with a nice thick slice of warm bread (preferably one that goes well with Le Roulé) to mop up the sauce! :-)

With that, I bid you all a good night (or morning, wherever you might be)!

Hungry for more,
The Academicook