Creamy Lemon Pasta with Scallops and Tarragon

Did you know that March is National Noodle Month? Although noodles come in all forms from udon to soba to zoodles, we wanted to introduce you to one of our favorite dough based projects to try at home–noodle making. And by noodles, we mean homemade pasta. By using a simple combination of flour and eggs, a little bit of effort creates something greater – and more delicious. Try your noodles with your favorite pasta recipe, paired with whatever wine you choose – or read on for our recommendations. 

Does getting dough up to your elbows sound like too much for a Tuesday?  We get it. Some days homemade pasta means not freshly made noodles, but instead store bought bucatini and the jarred sauce of your choice. We highly recommend pouring a glass and sipping while whipping up whatever you’re making tonight – starting with our 2019 Oregon Pinot Noir

But if you are ready for a project that is both fun and tasty, we have just the recipe for you: Creamy Lemon Pasta with Scallops & Tarragon 

As you may have guessed from our name, we love dough, So rolling out noodles, whether on a floured surface with a rolling pin like many of our grandmothers used to do, or in a pasta machine, is one of our favorite kitchen projects to do with friends, family (this is a great one for kids) and when we simply want to treat ourselves. 

This month has us thinking about springtime and although snow may still be on the ground in some neighborhoods, the bright citrus flavors in the pasta can make us feel sunshine even on a cloudy day. 

Bright and zesty lemon has us thinking about pairing this dish with one of our favorite wines, Chardonnay!  Our five dough Chardonnays all show expressions of citrus flavors, which shine when paired with this creamy pasta. If you’ll let us nerd out for a moment, with wine pairings and pasta there are two main rules: 

One: Think about the flavors in the sauce

Two: Drink something that will make you happy and Chardonnay makes us happy!

A few more tips before we get to the recipe:

  • No need to rush on a weeknight fresh pasta can be made ahead
  • There is no reason at all this sauce can’t be paired with store bought pasta
  • Dislike tarragon? Prefer shrimp to scallops? Wanting to make this vegetarian by substituting spinach or asparagus? No worries, this recipe is very adaptable. 
Explore all dough Chardonnays:

2018 Sonoma County and Monterey County Chardonnay
2019 Napa Valley Chardonnay
2019 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
2019 Willamette Valley Chardonnay
2019 North Coast Chardonnay 

Creamy Lemon Pasta with Scallops & Tarragon 

Serves: 4
Cook time: About an hour

Ingredients:

The Pasta
1 pound of your favorite fresh pasta dough, rolled out into thin sheets
All-purpose flour, for dusting

The Sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅓ cup diced shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
A pinch red pepper flakes
½ cup dry white wine
2 sprigs tarragon
1½ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
A pinch freshly ground black pepper

To Finish & Assemble
1 pound sustainably-sourced wild sea scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves, plus more for garnish

Instructions:

To make the pasta: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Lightly dust your work surface and the pasta sheets with flour. Cut the pasta sheets into thin, even noodles that are about 12 inches long and ¼-inch wide. (Keep any dough that you aren’t working with covered with plastic wrap.) Toss the noodles with a bit more flour, gather into loose mounds, and place on the prepared sheet pan. Cover the noodles with plastic wrap, and set aside while you make the sauce. 

To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat until hot and foamy. Add the shallots, and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the wine, along with the tarragon sprigs. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the liquid has mostly reduced, about 7 minutes. Remove and discard the tarragon sprigs. Stir in the cream and return to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover slightly, and cook until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon zest and juice, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside, and keep warm. 

To finish and assemble: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blot the scallops dry with a paper towel, and season with a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. 

Warm the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the scallops, and sear until golden brown on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the scallops, and cook until firm and cooked through, another minute or 2. Set aside, and keep warm. 

Cook the pasta in the boiling water until just al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot, and add the cream sauce along with a splash of pasta water. Briefly cook over medium-high heat, tossing to coat the noodles with sauce, another minute or 2. (Add another splash of the pasta water to loosen, if needed.) Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if needed. Add the chopped tarragon leaves, and toss until combined. 

Transfer the pasta to serving plates, and top with the scallops. Garnish with more tarragon, and serve warm.

Enjoy! 

 

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