Because they cook so quickly, scallops are one of my favorite weeknight meals. Here, I’m pairing them with fennel and lemon. Served over pasta, it makes for a light but flavorful quick weeknight hit.

Let’s get cooking!

The Prep

Clean, rinse and pat dry 20 scallops. Season with salt and pepper.

Wash one fennel bulb with the fronds on. Pat dry with a paper towel.  Remove the frilly fonds and either chop coarsely or pull apart with your hands.

Zest one lemon. Set aside the zest and juice the lemon.Watercolor lemon fruit branch with leaves isolated on white background. Lemon citrus tree. Lemon branch and slices. Lemon branch with leaves. Hand painted illustration

Rinse one medium zucchini. Slice lengthwise. Working with one half at a time, slice into quarter inch thick semicircles.

Set aside one pound of dried, long pasta. Spaghetti or linguini work well.

Measure out two tablespoons of butter.

You are mised out!

The Assembly

Set a large pot of water over high heat to boil. This will be for the pasta.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat for five minutes. This will be for the scallops and veggies.  Add 2 tbsp of oil to the pan and allow the oil to heat for a minute or two.

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water.

Add the scallops to the pan.  Cook on one side for about three minutes. Do not move the scallops in the pan. You want them to achieve a nice golden color. After three minutes, test by turning over one. If it is pale, turn up the heat slightly and cook for one more minute.

Flip the scallops.  Add the two tablespoons of butter. Once the butter melts, tilt the pan and use a large spoon to baste the scallops with the butter.  Add the zucchini, lemon zest and fennel fronds. Gently stir and cook for two minutes.

Add the lemon juice.  Taste and adjust salt/pepper to taste. The pasta should be al dente at this point.  Reserving 1/2 cup of water from the pasta, drain the pasta.  Add it and the reserved pasta water to the scallops. With your tongs, gently toss the pasta with the vegetables and fish until mixed.

The Payoff

Serve in shallow pasta bowls.

A small salad and a dry Riesling make for a lovely summer supper. Enjoy!