Scallops & Asparagus with Capelli d’angelo & Minneola Tangelo Butter Cream Sauce

Scallops & Asparagus with Capelli d'angelo & Minneola Tangelo Butter Cream Sauce

Here is something for a little change of pace. Back to light summer flavors. This is a dish you really want to try.

We have been loving the Hatch chile season and I even roasted a few more. The last batch, however, went into the freezer and I will probably put back a few more, too. When it’s cold in the wintertime, the Hatch chiles always hit the spot but we’re still in the summertime with lots of produce and fresh fruits which explains why we had this particular dish. You see, as we were shopping at the market I saw some beautiful Minneola Tangelos. Now, Minneola Tangelos are a Duncan grapefruit crossed with a Dancy tangerine released in 1931 by the United States Department of Agriculture Horticultural Research Station in Orlando. The fruit matures from December through February so we were rather surprised to see them and still are clueless as to where they were grown. They are a real pleasure to eat with a burst of both sweet and sour flavors and are a perfect accompaniment with seafood.

Once we saw the Minneola Tangelos, it was off to the seafood counter to see what they had. Now, while Minneola Tangelos go well with almost any seafood, we wanted to do something different. We really like scallops and wish we could get them fresh because there is such a remarkable flavor difference but living in DFW it doesn’t happen very often. So we settled for some very nice looking large scallops knowing the succulent sweetness of the scallops would be a perfect combination with the tangelo.

This is what we came up with. This is a beautiful dish that is packed with a lot of flavor yet very delicate in its approach. The hardest and most time consuming part is the sauce but it is delicious and very versatile. With prep and cooking time count on roughly 35 – 40 minutes. Nonetheless, this is a wonderful weeknight meal. Give this a try. You will be glad you did.


  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh minneola tangelo juice
  • 2 tsp minneola tangelo zest
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 5 tablespoons butter, unsalted cut into small pieces
  • 12 jumbo sea scallops
  • 1 lb Capelli d’angelo (angel hair pasta)
  • 1 lb asparagus, cut into bite size pieces


Simmer the tangelo juice and wine in a heavy small saucepan over moderate heat for about 25 minutes or until it is reduced to 1/2 cup.

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Add the cream to the tangelo juice reduction and return the mixture to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat. Add the butter to the tangelo juice reduction a few pieces at a time, whilst constantly whisking to blend.

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Once all the butter is incorporated, season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add zest and set the sauce in a warm spot until ready to serve.

While the tangelo juice is reducing, heat a heavy bottom sauté pan and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. When the oil is heated, not smoking, add the asparagus and cook until just cooked, roughly 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the asparagus is cooking and the juice is reducing, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Just when you are ready to cook the scallops, add the Capelli d’angelo to the boiling water. Capelli d’angelo only takes about 5 – 6 minutes to cook so it will be ready at the same time as the scallops. Things are going to start rocking and rolling now.

Place a heavy skillet over a high heat for 2 – 3 minutes. Season the scallops with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoon of oil into the hot pan and add the scallops.

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Sear the scallops about 3 minutes on each side or until they are just opaque in the center and golden brown on both sides. When done, transfer the scallops to a platter.

Remove the Capelli d’angelo from the water and place in a large bowl. Add the asparagus and toss. The hot pasta will reheat the asparagus. Place some Capelli d’angelo and asparagus in a serving bowl. Top with 4 scallops per bowl. Pour sauce over the top of the scallops.

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Finish with fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes over the top

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Serve and enjoy!

Scallops & Asparagus with Capelli d'angelo & Minneola Tangelo Butter Cream SauceNOTES: There is more than enough sauce for this dish so you will have some left over. You can use it with shrimp, sole, chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc. It is very versatile so don’t throw the leftover away. Also, if you don’t have Minneola Tangelos, this recipe works with oranges very well.

8 thoughts on “Scallops & Asparagus with Capelli d’angelo & Minneola Tangelo Butter Cream Sauce”

  1. In Spring, I have a pasta-asparagus dish once a week, at least. Dressed in a cream, red, or olive oil (aglio e olio) sauce, I cannot seem to get enough. Adding citrus flavors to a cream sauce would be a very tasty change, while adding the scallops makes it a special dish. This is going onto my “must try” list. Thanks, Richard!

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