Scallops with Linguine and Brown Butter

Scallops are tender enough that they pose little harm to braces! Feel free to substitute shrimp, or add a little chopped bacon as a treat (how my kids love it!). My kids also like edemame beans instead of peas.

linguine-scallops_300Ingredients

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 pound linguine
1 cup frozen peas (or edemame)
16 sea scallops (about 1 1/2 pounds), patted dry
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (or basil or oregano) leaves

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Toss the bread crumbs, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, tossing once, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to the package directions, adding the peas during the last minute of cooking. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta; reserve the pot.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the scallops with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  4. Wipe out the pasta pot and cook the butter over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pasta and peas, scallops, tarragon, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water and toss to coat (add more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce).
  5. Serve the pasta sprinkled with the toasted bread crumbs.