1 pound asparagus tips
1 pound dry fettuccine
Extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons plus some for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine, eyeball it
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Pinch saffron or 1 packet saffron powder, available at many markets on spice aisle
1/4 cup heavy cream, eyeball it
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup bread crumbs
1 lemon, zested
16 sea scallops, trimmed
Handful parsley, finely chopped
Bring 1-inch of water to a boil in a large skillet as well as a large pot of water, for pasta. When the water in the skillet comes up to a boil, add salt and asparagus and blanch for 2 minutes, drain and reserve. When the pasta water comes up to a boil, salt it and cook fettuccine to al dente.
While the pasta water comes up to a boil, in the pan which you blanched the asparagus in, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, over medium heat then add garlic and shallot and saute 4 to 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine, reduce 30 seconds then add stock, tomatoes and a pinch of saffron or an envelope of saffron powder. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cream then season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
While sauce cooks, heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add butter, melt then add the bread crumbs and toast them. Add salt and pepper, lemon zest and parsley, remove and reserve. Wipe pan clean and return the skillet to medium-high heat and preheat until very hot. Drizzle scallops with extra-virgin olive oil and add to hot pan to caramelize on each side, 3 minutes on the first side 2 on the second.
Chop asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle and add to sauce. Drain pasta and toss with asparagus and sauce. Serve pasta with seared scallops, 4 per person, alongside and top the scallops with the lemon scented bread crumbs.
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