Recipe. You Won't Want to Miss This!
Pasta with Peconic Bay Scallops, Bacon and Leeks
Peconic Bay scallops are available until the end of March, and locals will tell you they are delectable morsels of deliciousness. To bring out their subtle flavor please avoid tomato sauces, deep frying, and heavy cream sauces. Also, try to use a fine pasta, such as angel hair or thin spaghetti.
12 oz. pasta
¼ lb. unsmoked bacon in a single piece, slightly frozen, cut into matchsticks
2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and sliced into thin rings
1 lb. bay scallops
about ½ cup pasta water
pepper to taste
1 cup grated mild pecorino cheese
In a frying or sauté pan fry the bacon over medium heat until it renders some of its fat and gets slightly crisp. Add the leeks and let cook gently until the leeks are soft and separate into rings.
Turn the heat up and add the scallops (making sure they are drained and dried). Sauté, tossing regularly, until they are translucent and just done. Keep warm.
In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as directed on the package. Drain, reserving about a ½ cup pasta water. Add to the pan with the scallops and toss thoroughly, adding cheese and pepper if you wish, along with enough pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Pour into a heated bowl and serve. A splash of really good extra virgin olive oil can finish it off.
1. If you cannot find unsmoked bacon. Simmer regular bacon in water to cover for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse. Smoked bacon will overpower bay scallops. Also, you may use pancetta, but remember that most pancetta is spiced with herbs so may be a bit unbalancing to the sauce.
2. In the Italian canon, cheese with seafood is not considered appropriate. However, even Jacques Pepin has advocated it, and it adds both tang and creaminess to the finished dish.