SPAGHETTINI CON CANESTRELLI (with scallops, for six)

1 pound fresh bay scallops

a generous ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine

¼ cup chopped parsley, packed

½ teaspoon or more chopped hot red pepper, fresh or dried


1 pound spaghettini

½ cup unflavored bread crumbs, lightly toasted in the oven

Lemon wedges to accompany


1.  Rinse the scallops in cold water and pat dry thoroughly.

2.  Put the oil and the chopped garlic into a saucepan and sauté over medium heat until the garlic turns a light gold color.  Add the parsley and hot pepper, stirring once or twice.  (It is difficult to tell how hot the pepper will be at this stage.  Put in ¼ teaspoon now, and add more later if you think the sauce needs it.)

3.  Add the scallops or other seafood and one or two large pinches of salt.  Turn the heat to high and cook for about 1 minute, stirring a few times, until the scallops turn a flat white.  Turn off the heat.

4.  Cook the pasta in 4 to 5 quarts salted water for about 8 minutes after the water returns to a boil, or until al dente.  When the pasta is nearly done, turn the heat on the scallops to high.  Stir rapidly and taste, adding salt and hot pepper as needed.  Do not heat the sauce for more than 30 to 40 seconds.

5.  Drain the pasta the moment it is done, add it to the scallop sauce, toss with the toasted bread crumbs, and serve at once.  No grated cheese is required, but a squeeze of lemon  is always welcome.

adapted from Marcella Hazan, More Classic Italian Cooking    

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