I am looking forward to a whole bunch of spring time recipes in the bloggesphere! Fresh, light and bright seems to be the theme for spring every year and I think we are all ready for a break from the heavy comfort foods of winter. This Asparagus & Lemon Pasta Fonduta with Pan Fried Scallops is just that. Fresh, light and bright.
This recipe was adapted from Jessica’s Fonduta recipe at How Sweet Eats. I absolutely love her blog! Have you checked it out? We added lemon, used some fontina cheese instead of all parmesan, added chunks of salty pancetta, creamy ricotta, and of course delicious pan fried scallops. The result is a creamy, cheesy and citrusy lemon pasta fonduta mixed with fresh asparagus, pancetta, more cheese, with light, perfectly pan fried scallops on top.
This is a recipe that you want to be eating out on the deck on a cool spring or summer evening.
This week we can actually DO THAT! Eat dinner out on the deck! With temperatures reaching to 20 degrees this week, it is sure feeling like spring and we want to do all the spring things NOW! Here on the west coast of BC, we get rain from October or November until now, end of March, early April. When the sun finally comes out and we can start to feel the heat, we start coming out of our houses in droves. Camping and BBQ’ing begins, pub patios are filled, and we start entertaining outside!
Really, really excited about this! For those of you who live somewhere that’s sunny all the time, I hope you know how lucky you are 🙂
This lemon pasta fonduta dish is the perfect outside entertaining dish. Its easy enough for a casual get together, but its fancy enough for a more formal dinner party. We love pasta for that reason. Its generally pretty easy to throw together, and really easy to get it all gussied up. Its a great choice for any dinner party because one, everyone loves pasta and two, its easy to fit pasta to the nutritional or allergy needs of your guests. Gluten free pasta is readily available and I have even seen gluten free fresh fettuccine at our local Choices Market.
Plus, this lemon pasta fonduta goes excellent with wine. Just sayin…
We used Meyer lemons for this dish. We love the slight sweetness of the lemons, but you could use any lemons if you cant find meyer lemons. No biggie.
Here are a couple tips for cooking perfect pan fried scallops:
- use a heavy bottomed skillet. We used a cast iron and it works great.
- get the pan nice and hot
- add the cooking oil just before the scallops so it doesn’t burn
- don’t crowd the pan. This is probably most important. If there are too many scallops cooking at once, they won’t get nicely browned.
- once in the pan, don’t touch the scallops for at least three mins! Give them a chance to form a crust and brown on the bottom before flipping them over and doing the other side.
And there you go. Follow these simple tips and you will have nicely browned scallops every time!
Just because we love this dish for entertaining, there’s no reason you can’t make this tonight, I think I’m gonna!
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup ricotta
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ cup fontina cheese, grated
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups asparagus, bad ends taken off and chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tbsp butter
- 500 g fresh fettuccine
- 200 g pancetta, cubed and cooked
- ½ cup parmesan, grated (optional - to grate on top when serving)
FOR THE SCALLOPS
- 8-12 scallops, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Add some water to a double boiler and heat over medium heat. Or, you can set a glass bowl over top of some simmering water to make a make-shift double boiler. Add the eggs, sour cream and ricotta and whisk together. Then add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and both cheeses. Whisk until the cheeses melt and the sauce becomes nice and deliciously creamy. Make sure the sauce doesn't boil. You just want it to be warm enough so that the ingredients melt together.
- Heat a large skillet over med-low heat. Add the butter, garlic and asparagus. Cook until tender
- Meanwhile, cook your pasta. When its done, drain and add it to the asparagus. Add the sauce to the pan as well and toss to coat. Add ½ the cooked pancetta.
- At the same time, heat a cast iron pan or similar over med-high heat. Make sure the pan gets nice and hot. Add the oil and butter and when it is hot, add the scallops, but make sure not to crowd the pan. Cook till the scallops brown nicely on both sides. This will take a couple mins on each side.
- Plate the dish by putting a generous amount of pasta and sauce on a plate, top with two or three scallops and a sprinkle of pancetta and parmesan.