Stanley Tucci's Seared Scallops With Pea Puree

In his cookbook The Tucci Table: Cooking for Family and Friends, actor Stanley Tucci describes this recipe as "a beautiful combination of flavors" and "really easy to make." 

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1 lb peas (thawed, if frozen)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 pinches sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices prosciutto
1 tbsp butter
4 large or 8 smaller scallops
1 drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
1 pea shoots or micro greens, for garnish (optional)

1. Make the puree: Bring a saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the peas until they're just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Strain them in a colander, reserving about 1/2 cup of their cooking water. Put the peas in a blender with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and a touch of the reserved cooking water, and blend until smooth. You're looking for a creamy consistency. Feel free to leave a little texture if you prefer. You can make this well ahead of time, so set it aside with the rest of the reserved pea cooking water until needed. Otherwise, keep the puree warm in a small saucepan. If it gets too thick, loosen it with a couple of tablespoons of the reserved cooking water. 


2. Make the scallops: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay the prosciutto on top. Lay a second sheet of foil on top of the prosciutto, and then set a second baking sheet on top. This will insure that the prosciutto stays flat as it cooks. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and set aside until needed. 


3. In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook for 1 minute to 90 seconds on one side, then flip and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute on the other side, basting them frequently with the oil and butter and seasoning them with salt and pepper, until they are nicely browned and almost cooked through. Remember, they will keep cooking in their residual heat once you've set them aside. 


4. Place 2 to 3 spoonfuls of pea puree on each serving plate. Top it with the scallops, then crumble the crispy prosciutto over the top. Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with pea shoots or micro greens. Serves 4.