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Luscious cream sauce makes scallops a winner

Thursday, March 20, 2003

By Nancy Anderson, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Today's delectable entree, Fettuccine With Scallops and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, comes from Jane Wright of Wexford, who adapted it from a friend's recipe. Soon the tasty dish became a family favorite.

"I almost always have the ingredients on hand to make this dinner," she said. "It's also quite easy to prepare the sauce ahead and refrigerate it."

The rosy pink sauce is the star of the dish. It's so simple to make -- roasted red peppers pureed with sour cream -- yet so sensational in flavor. How just two ingredients can make such an agreeable and versatile sauce is amazing.

Not only does it complement the delicate scallops in today's recipe, but this sauce would lend a gourmet touch to other foods, such as chicken, pork, a plate of vegetables or as topping for plain pasta with grated cheese.

Jane prefers using fresh roasted peppers. She buys them on sale, roasts and freezes them right away and thus always has some on hand.

But for those in a hurry, jarred red peppers work just fine.

A certified home economics teacher and full-time mom to Katie, 4, and Jack, 2, Jane is organized and keeps a well-stocked pantry.

Like any homemaker, however, she's often in a bind to find something quick to feed the troops, including husband Brian, a pharmaceutical sales rep.

"Whenever I don't know what's for dinner, I put on a large pot of water to boil for pasta," she said.

And she can make water boil faster than anyone else, even won an award for it. ("I used two small pots on the stove and one in the microwave.")

With today's dish she serves a spinach salad with homemade dressing and toasted nuts (both made in advance and refrigerated) and crusty bread.

We steamed asparagus and garnished it with a squirt of lemon.

We agreed with Jane that the sauce would make a super dip. A few cloves of garlic pureed with the peppers and cream would give it a nice kick. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Fettuccine With Scallops And Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

  • 2 whole roasted red peppers, either jarred or fresh, see below for Jane's roasting directions
  • 16 ounces fettuccine
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon (about 2 cloves) garlic, pressed in garlic press or chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops or large shrimp
  • 16-ounce carton sour cream, low- fat or nonfat are fine

Put pasta water on to boil.

Place peppers (blot jarred peppers with paper towels) in a blender and puree. Add sour cream and blend. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add garlic and scallops and saute until opaque and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add pepper sauce to skillet. Stir and heat thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The mixture was done before the fettuccine so we let it simmer on low.) Toss with fettuccine. Serves 4 generously. Can easily be halved.

To roast peppers: Turn on broiler. Cut peppers in half; remove seeds and place on foil-covered baking sheet. Flatten with hand. Broil until skin is black and blistered, about 15 minutes. Remove from broiler and wrap loosely in the foil to steam off skin.

Editor's note: Would the person who sent recipes for Easy Potato Pancakes and Poor Man's Pizza please send his/her name and phone number to nanderson@post-gazette.com or call 412-263-3549?

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com"> . Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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