Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon Caper Pasta
1) Dry 1 lb scallops with paper towels. Season with salt. Heat a large stainless steel frying pan over med-high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and heat until the oil ripples and begins to smoke. Add scallops to a hot pan without crowding. Cook without moving them, until the bottoms are a rich golden brown, about 3 min. Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the pan. Turn the scallops and caramelize the second side, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat but do not discard the pan. Transfer scallops to a clean plate and lightly season with freshly ground black pepper. Lightly cover to keep warm while making the pasta. 2) Lemon Caper Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile make the lemon caper sauce. In the same pan used to cook the scallops, turn heat to med, add 1 Tbsp of butter and 3 tsp minced garlic. Stir and cook garlic until fragrant but not browned. Increase the heat to med-high and add 1/2 c. white wine. Simmer, stirring as needed until the wine is reduced by half and you can no longer smell the alcohol, about 3 min. Add 1 c. chicken broth, 2 tbsp lemon juice plus zest, and 2 tbsp capers, rinsed, turn heat to high. Cook until sauce is reduced by half (1/2 cup) about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off heat and add 1 Tbsp of butter, and whisk to combine. Taste sauce, season with salt and pepper as needed. Cook angel hair pasta in boiling water about 4 minutes until al dente, 5 minutes for more tender pasta. Drain pasta and add to the sauce. Add parsley and toss to combine. Add 1 c. cherry tomatoes sliced in half and gently mix. Season pasta with salt and pepper as desired. Add the pasta to serving dishes. Top with scallops and freshly grated parmesan cheese.