Olive Garden’s “fettuccine” Alfredo with Pan Seared Scallops

This week we had the opportunity to go to Utah to see some close friends and bring the new year in with my older brother and his family (who I haven’t seen in YEARS) but as perfect as timing gets, I came down with a horrible cold and didn’t feel much like traveling 10 hours in a bus with two  toddlers in tow :-( So instead we decided to have a quiet night in, make a special dinner, open some Martinelli’s and watch a couple of movies. It was relaxing, and perfect really.

For our special new year’s dinner I originally wanted to make scallops with a blood orange gastrique–but I couldn’t find any blood oranges. Then I was going to make them with a tangerine gastrique–and my kids ate all of the tangerines! Well, some of them, and the rest just had naughty little bite marks in them! >:-/ So then I searched through my fridge and cupboards and realized I had all the ingredients to make Olive Garden’s Fettuccine Alfredo, minus the fettuccine–which I substituted for spaghetti {even though “Spaghetti Alfredo” doesn’t sound anywhere near as good!} I decided to cook the scallops SUPER simply, by seasoning them with salt and pepper, dredging them in a little flour, and frying them in a pan with some canola oil, and they were probably the BEST scallops I have ever had! Together with Olive Garden’s “Fettuccine Alfredo” this was definitely the perfect thing to serve on a special night like new year’s eve!

Ingredients: (for 4)
16 large sea scallops
1/2 box fettuccine
salt & pepper
canola oil
AP flour
{for the sauce}
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup imported Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup imported Romano cheese, grated
6 egg yolks from fresh jumbo eggs
Salt and black pepper to taste

Cook the fettuccine according to the box instructions.

For the Alfredo Sauce: Heat the milk and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat. Slowly whip in the cheese, then remove from heat. Place egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture. Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into remaining cream mixture. Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering. Take sauce off heat so it thickens. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

For the scallops: Coat the bottom of a pan with canola oil and heat over medium high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Place a few at a time (4/5) in the hot oil and sear for 3-4 minutes on either side until browned on the outside, and white in the center (not opaque). Let rest for 5 minutes, and repeat with remaining scallops. Serve with the spaghetti and Alfredo sauce.

I wish I had a picture that did this dish justice, because those scallops were seriously to die for delicious and olive garden’s Alfredo sauce is pretty hard to beat! Not only was this an elegant meal for a special occasion, but my small kiddos even LOVED it! In fact, my little three year old would always ask me to make him “F*$@uccine alfredo” because it was one of his favorites, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing to call it “spaghetti alfredo” after all!

Happy New Year’s!

<3 Sarah