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Pan-Seared Scallops with Lemon-Garlic Pasta

This simple pasta and scallops dish fits the bill if you want a quick, delicious meal. You can easily add color, flavor, fiber, antioxidants and nutrients with sautéed dark leafy greens, peppers, asparagus, arugula, broccoli rabe, onions or other vegetables of your choice. Just sautée them before you begin, and then either serve on the side or mix into the cooked pasta.
Yield: Serves 4
Total Time: 20 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 10 min
Additional:
Ingredients
1 large lemon, grated for zest and freshly squeezed for 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced or pressed (about 2 to 3 cloves)
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper
8 oz vermicelli or angel hair pasta (You may want to use whole-grain wheat pasta or pasta made with gluten-free ingredients)
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
Preparation
1.  In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, reduce heat to simmer until you’re ready to cook the pasta (step 5).
2.  While the water is heating up, use a grater to take off small peels of the skin of one lemon into a small saucepan. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pan and remove pits. Use the back of a large spoon to press the inside of the lemon to extract more juice. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the saucepan. Stir to blend well. Place on stovetop over low heat.
3.  Heat a large nonstick pan or grill pan on high heat until very hot. Sprinkle the scallops with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat well.
4.  Place the scallops in the hot pan. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, or until scallops are well browned, firm and milky white to the center (to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F).
5.  After turning the scallops to the second side, drop the pasta into the boiling water. Set temperature to medium and cook for 2 minutes or the shortest recommended time according to package directions.
6.  When the pasta is done, set aside ½ cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta. Return drained pasta to the pot; toss with the warm olive oil mixture and the ½ cup reserved pasta water.
7.  Divide the pasta equally among four plates (about 1 cup per plate). Top each with four scallops.
8.  Garnish each dish with ½ tablespoon of shredded parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
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