The Culinary Stone

In a large pot, start the water boiling for the pasta. If it comes to a boil before you are ready to make the pasta, simply lower the heat and allow to very slowly simmer until the sauce and scallops are nearly cooked.

Rinse the scallops then pat dry with paper towels.

Peel, trim and mince the shallots. Place the minced shallots with the champagne in a small, heavy bottom saucepan and, over medium heat, cook until the champagne is almost (but not quite) evaporated, stirring often. There should be just a tablespoon or two of champagne left in the pan. Lower the heat under the saucepan and add the cream, stirring, and allow to cook just a few minutes until slightly thickened. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Meanwhile, when the champagne is partly evaporated, start the scallops. Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium heat and add just enough olive oil or butter to grease the bottom and, when hot, add the scallops and allow to cook, turning occasionally, until golden and crispy on both sides and cooked through (you will see the scallops turn from translucent to opaque white all the way through), lowering the heat if the scallops look browned enough on the top and bottom but don’t appear cooked completely through. This should take up to 5 minutes per side for very thick scallops.

If the sauce is done before the scallops are cooked through, simply turn off the heat under the sauce and then very gently reheat the sauce when ready to serve, if necessary.

Cook the fresh pasta (which only takes 3 minutes or so) in salted boiling water then drain. Place the pasta in a bowl and add a few glugs of olive oil, the juice of about half a lemon or to taste and a good grinding of black pepper. Toss and dress the plates with a serving of pasta each. Place a few spoonfuls of the Champagne Sauce on the pasta then place the scallops on top of the sauce. Sprinkle the scallops with Truffle Salt and serve accompanied by a glass with extra sauce if desired.

Ingredients

  • 4 sea scallops per person for main course, 3 per person for starter *
  • 3 or 4 medium-sized shallots, about 1 1/2 oz (50 g)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white champagne
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil or butter for the scallops
  • Sea salt with truffles
  • 7 oz (200 g) fresh pasta per person
  • Olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice to season to taste
* This recipe easily makes enough sauce to serve 4 people. I served 2 and had sauce leftover for another dish the following lunch.