Friday, February 15, 2008

Presto Pasta Night #50

It just seems like yesterday that Ruth came up with the whole concept of Presto Pasta Night and here we are celebrating the 50th edition and in two weeks time it will be its first anniversary. It certainly has been a showcase for the versatility of pasta.

This week I have some fresh angel hair pasta

angel hair pasta©

With its finer cut, this pasta really cooks in a flash so I thought my recipe should also very quick to put together.

I've whipped up a tarragon-parsley pesto - I've used parsley as I find tarragon can be a bit too overpowering and parsley lightens the taste of tarragon and adds a freshness to the dish. I've also used a mix of pinenuts and blanched almonds to give it a bit more character.

I'll be using this pesto to compliment some beautiful Hervey Bay Scallops - these will be quickly seared at the last moment and tossed through the dressed pasta.

Once again, as I am using seafood, the pesto won't contain any cheese.

Angel Hair Pasta with Tarragon-Parsley Pesto and Scallops

Angel Hair Pasta with Tarragon-Parsley Pesto and Seared Scallops

fresh angel hair pasta
fresh scallops

Tarragon-Parsley Pesto:
fresh tarragon leaves
fresh parsley leaves
1 garlic clove
sea salt flakes
blanched almonds
extra virgin olive oil

Make the Pesto:

I like to use a mortar and pestle rather than a processor - it's virtually just as quick but gives a much nicer texture to pesto - you can get a sense of the different elements rather than it being a textureless paste.

Place the garlic clove and a little sea salt flakes into your pestle and begin pounding it - when it has become a smooth paste add the parsley and tarragon leaves. Continue working to break down the leaves.

Next add the pinenuts and almonds and when you have a thick paste add the oil, a little at a time. Continue to break down any larger pieces of nuts.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.

If you aren't going to use it straight away, store it in the fridge - make sure you add a little extra oil over the top to stop the pesto from oxidising.

Prepare the scallops:

Drizzle a little olive oil in a dish and add the scallops, turning them to coat. Season with a grinding of sea salt and white pepper.

I cooked the scallops just before I drain the pasta - searing them in a hot pan for about 30 seconds each side.

Assemble the dish:

Toss the barely drained hot pasta through the pesto - mixing well to combine and then drop in the scallops. Gently toss them through and then serve.



  1. oh how gorgeous! i'm always so impressed with homemade pasta, the recipe and images are intoxicating!

  2. I love this recipe. You've got one of my favorite herbs paired with my favorite seafood!

  3. Beautiful!
    I haven't made scallops in ages, I need to fix that!

  4. It looks absolutely stunning and what a great combo. Guess what I'll be eating this weekend!

    Thanks for sharing with PResto Pasta Nights. It is hard to believe we're at week 50.

  5. I rarely use tarragon except on roasted carrots which I just love. So thank you for this lovely recipe. I will be sure to try it.

  6. Guess what is on next weeks menu!
    Thanks for sharing, it looks wonderful.

  7. Yours was my favorite in this week's roundup! Looks FANTASTIC!

  8. Thanks Aria!

    Thanks Kalyn - scallops are just the best.

    Thanks Brilynn - anytime is a good time for scallops!

    Thanks Ruth - it should be a huge 1 year anniversary.

    Thanks Susan - I hope you enjoy it!

    Thanks Megan - set some aside for me!

    Thanks Hillary!


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