Fresh Olive Pasta with Scallops

I had a heavy lunch yesterday, so I knew I wanted something lighter for dinner. Mandi and I started bouncing around ideas towards the end of the work day. I sort of wanted pasta, but lighter, so I wanted to make it. Also didn’t want cheese so I thought it would be a good excuse to use seafood. Then I came up with the idea: wouldn’t it be cool to have a black colored pasta to contrast with the white scallops? We hoped we could get squid ink at the store to color the pasta because generally that’s what people use to make black pasta. At the store there was no such luck. The butcher/fish mongers response was actually to laugh and say “oh you guys, always coming up with some crazy request”. We brainstormed for a bit. What if we put spinach and tomato paste, that might turn it black? We sort of decided that it would actually turn it a gross brownish. What about food coloring? I said. Mandi shot me a look. She HATES food coloring except for in cake frosting. She cried when she found out the flecks of different colored rice in Indian rice was made with food coloring. She didn’t leave the house for a week when she learned the truth about red velvet cake. Suddenly it came to me. Black olives. The cool thing was that the flavor matched the flavor profiles we were going for with this dish. We grabbed the olives and headed to the checkout.

Here the olives are in the blender with some black salt. I must admit, I was slightly disappointed with the color. It was a little gray so when Mandi wasn’t looking I added a few drops of black food coloring we had laying around just to give the olives a boost.

4 eggs, some salt, and the olive mixture.

added to 3 cups of flour to make pasta dough.

This gets covered and placed into plastic wrap for ahalf hour.

Scallops are cool cause they have beards too. But if someone were to cook and eat me, I am guessing they would want to shave me first. Same thing with the scallops. Remove the beard and rinse them off. I was shocked at one of the most expensive restaurants on the island last weekend when I got a sandy bearded scallop. I’m not gonna name names, but imagine if there was a parking lot for boats. You know, like a parking lot, on the water. What would that be called?

Everything is ready for the sauce.

You have to balance the scallops so they sear on the top and bottom only. its funny how much better this makes them taste. its also funny how well they stand up if you balance them right. Use your fingers and don’t worry about the burning. It will only make you stronger.

Like a surgeon, precision is required.

After searing the scallops, we removed them from the pan and added the shallots and then the garlic and turned down the heat just a touch. We tried to deglaze to get all that yummy brown bits, but the sugar from the scallops (the very same sugar that causes them to get so nicely seared) had sort of formed a caramely chewey tar and we had to remove it. Fortunately their was still plenty of scallop flavor in the pan to build the sauce on.

We added a little more oil, a cup of white wine, a spoon of butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Oh, and those tomatoes.

Don’t they look so awesome!?

I salted the water with the black salt so the water turned black hoping that it would help the pasta retain the color.

only one or two minutes in the water and strait to the pan with the sauce.

Heat off. Add parsley and return scallops to pan.

The “Vanity plate”. We kept 2 scallops to place right on top.

A few more pieces of black salt on the 2 scallops on top.

The normal plate for us to stuff our faces with.

4 eggs
3 cups flour
Salt or black salt
1 can of olives, some of the juice, and some black food coloring (optional) blended
Mix and kneed these ingredients to form a dough, cover and let sit for 30 minutes
Roll out to form sheets and cut into fettuccini.

If you don’t want to make pasta, use the refrigerated fresh spinach pasta from the grocery store or an Italian market, but don’t use boxed pasta for this meal.

Sear salted baby scallops with olive oil on superhigh heat, 1 or 2 minutes a side. Remove from pan. Add diced shallots and sliced garlic and fry for 2 minutes, scraping the pan but removing larger burnt chunks. Add salt. Add white wine (a cup or so) and butter. Add crushed red pepper to taste. Reduce, 10 minutes. Add tomatoes. Add lemon juice. Drop pasta in boiling water. 2 minutes. Remove pasta with slotted spoon and put directly into pan with sauce. Stir and combine. Add lemon zest. Remove from heat. Add scallops and parsley. Serve.