Several months ago I was grocery shopping with my kids at Whole Foods. Usually when we go shopping, we are in no rush and we meander through the stores talking about what foods we see and trying to take advantage of various learning opportunities.
We finished up in the produce department and headed along to pick out our meats. Not being in a hurry, I pushed the cart towards the seafood case to talk about the fish and let my kids try and identify the types of seafood displayed. We pointed out the red salmon and drooled over the (out of our budget) fresh tuna and sea bass. I reminded the kids that soon it will be vacation time and we will be enjoying a lot of seafood at it’s freshest– right on the beach!
Having no actual intention of purchasing seafood, I attempt to move everyone along to find the next item on our list, chicken thighs. My eldest spots the clams though, and we linger longer, picking one up and talking about what it is. He begs me to get some. I had never cooked clams before, but the price was right, and it’s hard to turn down a three-year-old (at the time) asking to eat clams.
Bag of clams in hand, we are finally on our way.
That night, alongside my mother-in-law, I learned how to prepare clams. Tossed with some fresh pasta and a simple sauce, and Jack was hooked. Very delicious.
I am now regularly asked to buy clams. Or shrimp. Or salmon. My kids have developed a taste for the sea.
This week, I thought I would change it up and get fresh scallops. We enjoyed them at the beach with shrimp, roasted veggies, and angel hair pasta. Surely it would be a hit again at home.
At The Fresh Market this time, I ordered our scallops. I asked first about how many would equal the price per pound amount. 10-20 scallops per pound I was told. I asked for 15, and then my breath caught in my chest when he handed over the package. Waaaay more than I wanted to spend since I’m really trying to stay in budget. Either his approximation was off or I am just easily confused. Honestly, with three children with me, it is most likely the latter.
“Please…I’m sorry…I don’t want to spend this much on scallops…Can you just give me half of this?!”
I’m not sure why I felt so embarrassed, but I did. Oh, well.
The end result was a dish rich in flavor and decadent in its creamy pasta goodness. If you don’t want to have a potentially embarrassing moment at the seafood counter, you can easily substitute scallops for roasted chicken or shrimp. (If time and ambition do not allow, using boxed pasta would, of course, still make for a delicious dish, and one that would come together in a short time).
(And since my clam-loving son declared that scallops are an “incredibly yucky meat” and asked to please not eat them again, I will likely pair it with shrimp the next time I make it so that I can spare him the yuck.)
I made the pasta with spelt flour ground in my WonderMill. Until using this mill, I had not been successful at making pasta with freshly ground flour. While I could use fresh flour for just about everything else, I have been in the habit of keeping a bag of unbleached flour on hand for pasta night.
There has been a learning curve in figuring out how to make it work, but I’m happy to say that now the pasta is as easy to roll out as it had been before using refined flour. The trick is to knead the flour for a few minutes longer when the dough is formed. This helps the dough to stay together and not become lacy (my previous problem) while it is passed through the pasta machine.
This recipe is a contributing part of an opportunity I’ve been given to test out the WonderMill. You can find the recipe for Pan Seared Scallops with Caramelized Onion Alfredo, as well as a ton of other recipes, on the Grain Mill Wagon’s website.