I overlook scallops too frequently, I’m afraid. They don’t need much to taste good (they will cook in 2 minutes) and they’re not too expensive (I used frozen). Scallops benefit from minimal handling. The recipe for “Pasta with Pesto and Scallops,” from Allrecipes.com, delivers smooth, sweet scallops, surrounded by an easily elegant sauce and noodles. So why am I not cooking scallops more often? I’m humbled by this recipe and have learned my lesson!

Instead of using fettuccine pasta, I used a combination of egg noodles and linguine. Any noodle would do for this recipe, I’m sure. Once you find a great bottled pesto, you should use it without shame. I drizzled extra pesto on my cooked noodles, as well as extra olive oil. Enjoy this freedom.

For the dry white wine, I finally used the last of the 2008 Argentinian Torrontes that I’ve had on hand for my past few meals. I added 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper to the vegetable sauté. My whole family indulged in second helpings of this dish. Treat your diners to this easy winner.

Green Bell Pepper (1) = $1.15
Scallops (1 lb.) = $5.75

RECIPE: simple, dignified, satisfying
PREP TIME: this meal is a quickie: boil the noodles while you sauté the vegetables and scallops, and you’ll eat in 15 minutes
TASTE: pesto never fails. Here it’s enhanced by the vegetables, wine, and lemon juice

Next time, I will cook “Baked Catfish,” from Light and Easy Diabetes Cuisine, by Betty Marks and Gerald Bernstein, along with “Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers,” from the February 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times. Return to my site on Friday, May 21, to see how this meal turns out.