A while back I published a list of the 10 Best Things I’ve Ever Eaten. The scallops in squid ink linguine from So! in Little Rock claimed the number one spot on that list. The first time I had this dish was the week we got engaged, and this became our special occasion place over the next three years. Birthdays and anniversaries were all spent at So!, and one of us always ordered this dish (usually me, but one time a sea bass dish was calling my name, so Graham ordered it).
Sadly, it’s no longer on their menu. I’m not sure why that matters, since we no longer live in Arkansas, but whatever. Anyways. I was at Whole Foods recently, and when I walked by the fresh pasta case and saw squid ink pasta, I was inspired. Every time I would post a photo of my dinner from So!, I would always get a few of these comments: “that looks gross”, “ew”, or the barfing emoji. And I would always respond with don’t knock something you’ve never tried. Despite the dark color (obviously obtained by using squid ink), the pasta itself has a very neutral flavor.
This dish was excellent, so simple, and looks much more impressive than it actually is.
- 5 T. unsalted butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 t. of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- zest of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup of parsley
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 lb. of fresh pasta
- 6-8 large scallops
- Heat a large pot of boiling, salted water for the pasta.
- Season the scallops with salt and pepper (on both sides).
- Melt one tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted and the skillet is hot, add the scallops to it. Cook the scallops for 2 minutes on each side. Move to a plate and set aside.
- Add the rest of the butter to the skillet. When the butter is melted, add the minced garlic and the red pepper flakes. Saute for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is golden and fragrant.
- Add the wine to the pan, scraping up the browned bits. Add most of the parsley and the lemon zest. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced. Remove from the heat.
- Add the fresh pasta to the water, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain, toss with sauce, and plate. Top with the scallops, and sprinkle with additional parsley.