Don't skip on the home made marinara, it takes half an hour to make and it's the foundation of this recipe!!!
10 scallops, cleaned, catch muscle removed
1/2 lb. linguini pasta, cooked al dente
1/2 cup marinara sauce, or to taste, recipe follows*
1/2 cup reserved pasta water, or dry white wine
Canola or peanut oil
Salt and pepper
5-6 basil leaves, fine chiffonade (garnish, optional)
Take your scallops and slice them in two even halves horizontally, to make two circular halves (not semi-circle!). You basically want to make the scallops not as thick. Season lightly with salt and pepper 10 minutes before cooking. Heat a heavy pan over high heat until it's scorching hot. Add oil to the pan and carefully lay the scallops in the pan, leaving about an inch between the scallops. Cook them 15-20 seconds per side, to a nice golden brown, and remove to a plate. Cook in batches if necessary.
Remove the pan from the heat instantly when the last scallops are done cooking, and drain excess oil from the pan. Replace back on medium-high heat and deglaze pan with the reserved pasta water (You can use a dry white wine but I think it brings too much acidity to the tomato sauce in this recipe so I opt for pasta water. The pasta water starch helps the sauce cling to the pasta. Heck you can use a little of both! Your choice), and scrape up all the bits of fond from the bottom of the pan. Reduce liquid to about 2-3 tablespoons and add the marinara sauce to the pan, along with any juices that have collected on the plate with the scallops. Mix in over medium heat and toss in cooked pasta, tossing over medium heat for 1-2 minutes to marry all the flavors into the pasta. Gently fold in seared scallops to the hot pasta off the flame, sprinkle basil chiffonade on top, and serve immediately.
* Marinara recipe can be found here