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FRESH Ideas: Healthy Pasta

FRESH Ideas For Healthy Pasta
FRESH Ideas with Christine Gardner can be seen each Tuesday at 5 p.m. on CBS19 and again on

Seared Scallops with Whole Wheat Pasta and Lemon Pesto

Scallops are a good source of protein that is low in fat and calories. Half a pound of scallops have 48 grams of protein and 248 calories. They are quick and easy to cook and very flavorful.
I like to make this dish with whole wheat pasta because the crust that forms on the scallops goes well with the nutty flavor and texture of the pasta. Some brands of whole wheat pasta can be very dense and do not have much flavor. The brand I have found to be the most flavorful and very similar in texture to regular pasta is Gia Russa. This brand might even fool those at your table who aren't interested in eating whole wheat pasta.
Pesto sauce tends to be very oily but in this recipe I have used half as much pesto as you would typically use for this amount of pasta by thinning it with lemon juice. It cuts the calories and fat in half and brightens the flavor of the scallops and pesto. You can use a jarred pesto or make your own.

1/2 pound whole wheat linguine
1 pound sea scallops
2 tablespoons canola or grape seed oil
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1/2 cup white wine
2 lemons
Cracked black pepper
Grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Remove from heat and set aside. Rinse scallops and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat oil in a sauté pan over high heat. The secret to getting a good sear on your scallops is to make sure they are very dry and the pan is very hot. When pan is ready add scallops. Do not move them. Turn after two to three minutes. If they are still sticking to the pan do not turn yet. When they release on their own they are ready to turn. After turning allow to cook for one minute. Add the wine and the juice of one lemon. Tilt the pan forward and spoon some of the liquid over the scallops. Turn off the heat and move to a cool burner. Continue to spoon the liquid over the scallops until they are cooked through. About two minutes. Drain pasta. Add the pesto and the juice from the other lemon. Toss the pasta to coat thoroughly. Add the scallops and all of the juices. Add black pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine. Garnish with grated parmesan. Serves 4.
Recipe by Christine Gardner

Basil Pesto

3 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Place basil, nuts, cheese and garlic in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add oil and pulse until smooth. You can add more or less oil to desired consistency. Taste and season with salt. Makes about 1 cup.
Recipe by Christine Gardner

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