Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A sure sign of spring: Making Spaghetti
with Bay Scallops, Leeks and Tarragon

Hello, dear spring!
   I think it’s arrived. I don’t have to wear gloves, a hat or winter boots anymore. I can hear birds chirping. It’s not dark as midnight when I get up in the morning. The lot where I park for work is a sinkhole of mud rather than a skating rink.
   And I want to cook nice and bright from now until fall!
   That’s one of my own official signs of spring: I want to crack out goat cheese, dill, chicken, orzo, asparagus, strawberries and lemons and get them to work in cooking and baking.
   A pasta dish that I like to make to welcome spring is Spaghetti with Bay Scallops, Leeks and Tarragon (click for the recipe) from Everyday Food magazine.
   The white and green colors of the dish pay homage to the new and warmer season.
   Most importantly, it’s amazingly delicious and satisfying.
   The scallops make for a meaty texture in the pasta, while the leeks and tarragon add a pleasant oniony flavor.
   The recipe calls for bay scallops, which look like mini scallops. Bay scallops are quite easy to find frozen, but if you can't find them, cutting regular-size scallops in half will work just as well.
   Spaghetti is boiled until al dente, then drained and returned to the pot.
   Thinly-sliced leeks (be sure to wash them well to get out all the dirt in the upper white part) and garlic are cooked in a skillet, and are added to the pasta. The same step is repeated for scallops and lemon zest (finely-grated lemon peel).
   Fresh tarragon, butter and lemon juice are added to the pasta in the pot and tossed until they create a thin sauce that coats the spaghetti.
   Serve and welcome spring.

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