Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ingredient Spotlight: Sungold Tomatoes

Imagine Cherry Tomatoes that sport a snazzy orange skin and are bursting with unbelievable sweetness and floral qualities - there you have Sungold Tomatoes. These little orange guys start popping up at stores from the middle of summer to early fall. The ultimate Tomato for casual snacking, Sungolds are also a super addition to salads, canapes, and entrees. Their sunny color makes for a great visual pop.  

Sungold Tomatoes, Photo: NK
Today's dinner pairs sugary Sungolds with sweet sauteed Scallops and Pasta. If you are looking for a quick pasta dish that looks beautiful and tastes like everything good about summer, this is it!

NK's Spaghetti with Sungold Tomatoes and Scallops
Serves 2

1 large Garlic Clove, minced or sliced thinly
1 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 or 3 handfulls Sungold Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter 
10 small Basil Leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 Lb Spaghetti
1/2 - 3/4 Lb Sea Scallops, small side-muscle removed, rinsed and patted dry*
Salt and Pepper
*If available, purchase Dry Sea Scallops - they have not been treated with a liquid that you find in many Scallops to keep their color. Dry Scallops are ideal because they allow you to get a nice golden sear on your scallops. If you cannot find them, make sure you pat your Scallops dry really well. You most likely won't achieve a golden brown crust but they will still taste good.

Set a large pasta pot of Salted water to boil.

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoons Oil and 1 Tablespoon Butter over high heat until very hot, almost to the point of smoking.

Season Scallops of both sides with Salt and Pepper and carefully place in the skillet.
Seasoned Scallops, Photo: NK
Cook 2-3 minutes per side (depending on the size of the Scallop) until cooked through but not overcooked. 

Remove Scallops to a plate when done and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, cut them into halves. 

If your pasta water is boiling, begin cooking the Spaghetti according to package directions.


In a second large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon Oil over medium heat. Add Garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute or so. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper, and the Tomatoes. Cook, semi-covered, for 8 minutes or more, tossing occasionally. If Tomatoes burst open, don't worry. I prefer to keep them whole so if they start to pop too much you can turn off the heat. If you don't mind them popping open, that's fine too!

Photo: NK

Once Spaghetti has finished, drain and return it to pasta pot. 

Stir in 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, another few pinches of Crushed Red Pepper (or more if you like it spicy), and the 10 Basil Leaves. Toss until the butter has melted. 

Next, pour the Tomatoes into the pasta pot and season to taste with Salt and Pepper. A 1/2 teaspoon of Salt will give it nice flavor but the amount is up to you. 

Tossing with the Pasta, Photo: NK
Scoop Pasta and Tomatoes into your plate and top with the Scallops. Garnish with a Basil Sprig. 

Spaghetti with Sungold Tomatoes and Sautéed Scallops, Photo: NK 

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  1. This looks amazing and I dont even eat seafood!

  2. Thanks, Alexis! It should be noted that this would work just as well if you omit the scallops. enjoy if you try it!