Shrimp and Scallops with Tomatoes, Farfalle and Basil


For my birthday, I was given Mario Batali’s cookbook, Italian Grill. I love everything Mario and everything done on the grill, so I spent time reading this cover-to-cover. Love at first sight turned into a need to make every dish in the book - the recipes are just that appealing. I had everything on hand to make Mario’s Sea Scallops Alla Caprese. The recipe seems simplistic in its list of ingredients, but I could tell there was genius in his layering of flavors. The preparation seemed light and summery, not exactly a fit for our cold and rainy evening. Since I didn’t really want to go outside to the grill anyway, I adapted the recipe for stovetop cooking, and added a bit of pasta and garlic to lend warmth and depth. Here is the result. It’s fantastic. I was not looking for a true "pasta dish”, but wanted the pasta to be a complementary texture and flavor. I served it with steamed artichokes and aioli on the side, but the dish could stand on its own, perhaps with a crusty bread as an accompaniment.
12 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds tomatoes (if you can get mixed varieties, they will add beautiful color, but I used all red Campari)
1/2 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh basil leaves
1 medium to large onion, sliced in 1/4 inch slices.
12 sea scallops
1/2 pound farfalle pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 You could serve this right from the pan, so if you have a nice, table-worthy pan, use it for this first step. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, warm 1/3 of olive oil in large skillet. Add shrimp, and sauté, turning once, for about 4 minutes total. Remove from heat and set aside. Add garlic to oil in pan and sauté for 2 minute, then turn off heat.

2 Cut tomatoes into thick wedges. Place in a bowl and spread the basil leaves over. Set aside.

3 Over medium-high heat, heat a griddle pan (flat side up) or large, heavy frying pan. Season the onion slices on both sides with salt and pepper. Place them on the griddle and cook, unmoved, for 5 minutes, until well charred on the first side (do not use oil for this step). Turn the slices over and cook for 3-5 minutes on the second side, until slightly charred and softened. Separate the onion slices into smaller rings and scatter them over the tomatoes. Drizzle with 1/3 of olive oil over and toss. Leave the heat on the griddle.

4 Dry the surface of the scallops. Season with salt and pepper, then toss them in a bowl with remaining olive oil.

5 Place the scallops on the griddle and cook for 5 minutes or so, without turning, until deep golden. Resist the urge to check them before 5 minutes is up, allowing a wonderful seared edge to form. Flip them over and sear for another minute or so, until just done. Meanwhile, add the shrimp to the griddle to reheat, flipping once.

6 While scallops are cooking, reheat first pan that contains oil and garlic. Add pasta, tossing often to heat though.

7 Top the pasta with the tomato mixture, then place scallops and shrimp on top and serve.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 4 Servings
Notes Note that the pasta is cooked ahead, since the rest of the dish comes together quite quickly.

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