Seared Scallops with Lemon Spinach Pasta

½ pound of spaghetti or linguini
½ - ¾ pound sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons of butter, divided
1 shallot, finely chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken, vegetable or seafood stock
½ cup chopped parsley
Zest of 1 lemon, reserving whole lemon for serving
6 ounces fresh spinach
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add some salt and cook the pasta as directed.  While the pasta is cooking, get started on the scallops. 

Season each side of the scallops with salt and pepper. 

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the pan and the oil are nice and hot, add the scallops. Sear each scallop for about 2 minutes, and then flip over and sear the other side for about 2 minutes. Remove the scallops, set aside on a plate and cover with foil.

Turn the heat on the skillet to medium. Add 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chopped shallot and cook until tender and slightly browned. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and the white wine. Reduce the wine for about 1-2 minutes and then pour in the stock.

Add the parsley, lemon zest and 1 more tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes then turn off the heat.

Return the cooked pasta back to the empty pasta pot. Turn heat to low and add the sauce from the skillet. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach is slightly wilted (it may help to cover the pot for about 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat. Add the Parmesan cheese, a little bit at a time, until all the cheese is fully incorporated. Once the spinach is wilted and the ingredients are fully incorporated, transfer to a serving bowl or plate and top with the scallops. Serve with a bit of fresh lemon squeezed over the entire dish. Enjoy!