Fettuccine is one of the foods I have loved for as long as I can remember. (I suppose I was somewhat of an unusual kid, because I hated spaghetti- I still do.) When I was little, I especially loved fettuccine that was slathered in creamy, white alfredo sauce. As an adult, I have swapped the cloying alfredo sauce for a simple combination of butter, freshly grated parmesan, and salt and pepper. I still love wider noodles (especially egg noodles and pappardelle) so this recipe is no exception. Add crispy, salty bacon and tender, sweet scallops, fresh spinach, and we have something really good going. To keep this meal from being overly rich, Ming Tsai uses yogurt in place of cream. I was skeptical of this, but it really kept the dish from being cloying. I still thought it needed something, so I topped it with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and crushed red pepper flakes. This is something that I would happily make and eat very often!
slightly adapted from: Simply Ming One-Pot Meals
½ pound fettuccine, fresh or dried
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the pasta
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 pound medium (u-20) scallops, any muscles removed, halved
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ pound baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus leaves for garnish
salt & freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish
red pepper flakes (optional)
Fill a large bowl with water and add ice cubes. In a large pot (or wok), cook pasta in abundant boiling salted water until al dente, about 3 minutes if fresh, 11 minutes if dry. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the bowl. When cold, drain the pasta and transfer it to a medium bowl. Coat the pasta lightly with olive oil and set aside.
Line a plate with paper towels. Heat the wok (or a large saucepan) over medium heat. Add the bacon and stir-fry until crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Using a skimmer or slotted spatula, transfer the bacon to the plate.
Wipe out the pan and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add the onions and ginger and stir-fry until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the scallops and stir-fry until almost cooked through, 1 minute. Add the wine and stock, deglaze, and allow the liquid to reduce by one quarter, 1-2 minutes. Add the yogurt, all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon, the pasta, spinach and the chopped parsley. Toss gently to blend, and heat through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among four individual plates or pasta bowls, garnish with the parsley leaves, reserved bacon, Parmigiano Reggiano, red pepper flakes, and serve.
Wine Pairing: Italian rosé