You can make rum buttered scallops over any pasta but lemon pepper makes a great contrast to the sweet buttery taste.
What you need to buy -
Lemon pepper pasta. :
I like Trader Joes. Pappardelle you can’t miss the lemon or pepper it makes a wonderful surface of the butter. or Ronzoni makes a lemon pepper angel hair which gives a more subtle flavor. Either is fine
of course real butter, good butter is best, while you can use margarine it will make your pasta and scallops oily instead of the buttery goodness we are looking for. as much as you would like.
Make sure they are as fresh as possible (of course). Scallops can be eaten when cooked to medium, some even eat them raw (I wouldn't) but to not get sick the the rawer the scallops the fresher they need to be. 1 1/2 pounds to 2 pounds.
When cooking with liquor always choose a quality that you can drink. It makes the food taste better. Cooking a bad quality liquor will not make it taste any better. Choose what ever rum you would like. I like bacardi but that’s just me. 151 is just because that's what I had in the house but any unflavored rum will do. Later you can experiment with other flavors.
Optional – Bacon:
I don’t use measurements. I will include approx amounts for 4 , adjust to your own tastes
Ok start preparing the pasta as the package indicates. I use 1 package of the TJ pasta or 1/2 of the ronzini box. Al Dente preferred or Med please.
opt – If you have chosen to add bacon this is a good time to cook it. Take a large frying pan and brown 4-5 slices of bacon. cut into 1 in pieces. If your bacon is frozen don’t worry just cook it first then cut. Remove bacon from pan. let drain. You can now cook the scallops in the bacon grease or clean the pan and add butter. don’t add butter to the bacon grease. While it will be tasty it is just too much grease. It will also make it more likely that the butter will burn.
After the pasta is done- drain the water. I know that many people like to rinse their pasta but this makes no sense unless you are making salad. Now that your pot is empty put 2 pats of butter in the pot (burner should be off). The heat of the already hot pot should melt the butter. add pasta back to the pot and mix until the pasta is coated in the butter. This will keep the pasta separated and warm while you cook the scallops.Its also the reason to make it al dente or med. because pasta will continue to cook with it’s internal heat.
If you haven’t chosen bacon then heat up a large frying pan. add 2 pats of butter or enough to coat the bottom of the pan. The butter should be very hot. sizzling and add scallops. Once you put the scallops in. Scallops take no time at all
to cook. if they are over cooked then they will get rubbery. Their thickness determines how long they should cook.
note: if you have never cooked scallops. leave lots of space in between the scallops and DO NOT stir or mix. Just place them in the pan and let them sit. you can lift one to check the bottoms after 1 min (for large) and keep checking periodically. If you stir them or they are too close together then instead of searing they will steam. Increasing chances of over cooking.
The scallops should look just change color before turning them to the other side. (DO NOT turn golden brown) cook the other side the same then remove scallops from the pan. It is easy to over cook scallops that’s why you have to remove the scallops before reducing the rum.
keep the pan hot and add 2 shot glasses of rum or just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. you want the rum to start reducing
Plate buttered pasta.
Rum should be sizzling and steaming. once the rum is reduced add the partly cooked scallops to the hot pan. (bacon too) let the scallops sear on each side in the rum now you are looking for that golden brown color. scallops should be springy if they are firm they are over cooked. Once you get that nice golden brown color you can put scallops (and bacon) on top of pasta. you can also add the buttery rum liquid. Serve immediately.
This recipe should take about 45 min in total. that includes waiting for the water to boil.