Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali
Four Variations on Scallops
Total:
30 min
Active:
20 min
Yield:
4 servings each
Level:
Intermediate
Total:
30 min
Active:
20 min
Yield:
4 servings each
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

Variation I:
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/8 cup
Variation II:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup fine cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
Variation III:
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • 15 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup white wine
Variation IV:
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Pinch hot chile flakes
  • 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Basic Tomato Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped in 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
  • Salt

Directions

Variation IV:

Variation I: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F, or preheat the broiler.

Dredge the scallops in the seasoned flour. In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the 4 tablespoons butter over high heat until it foams and subsides. Add the scallops, working in batches if necessary, and cook for 2 minutes on 1 side. Carefully turn and cook for 2 minutes on the other side, then remove to a plate until all are cooked. Place the scallops under the broiler or in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are nicely browned at the edges.

Meanwhile, add the garlic to the pan in which you cooked the scallops and cook for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any browned bits, and bring to a boil. Add the remaining butter, a half-tablespoon at a time, until it is absorbed. Add the parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve the scallops with the sauce poured over.

Variation II: In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the butter over high heat until it foams and subsides. Whisk in the cornmeal, stirring for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Add the tarragon and salt and pepper. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and sprinkle the polenta mixture over them. Bake in the oven or under the broiler for 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked through and nicely browned at the edges.

Variation III: In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until just smoking. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and saute over high heat 2 minutes, then turn and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Remove to a plate and add the tomato sauce, parsley, basil, and wine to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Place sauce on a broiler plate and place scallops over sauce. Cook in the oven or broiler until they are cooked through and nicely browned on the edges. Serve immediately.

Variation IV: In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until just smoking. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and saute over high heat 2 minutes, then turn and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Remove to a plate and add wine, garlic, chile flakes, anchovies, and capers to the pan. Bring the wine to a boil, reduce to a simmer, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes over low heat, until the capers have burst and the anchovies are falling apart.

Sprinkle the scallops with the wine mixture and cook in the oven or broiler until they are cooked through and nicely browned on the edges. Serve immediately with lemons.

Basic Tomato Sauce:

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook until soft, and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

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