Have you heard of a fancy-fakeout meal? It’s one that looks super complicated, but couldn’t be easier! This Linguine with Scallops recipe is perfect for a dinner party…or a date night IN.
With four kids, date nights OUT are kind of hard–and super expensive. Between the babysitter and our meal, we’re looking at close to $100. Not cheap!
Ricky and I love planning special date nights in with fancy-ish meals. This meal with scallops is quite simple, but feels like an expensive dinner out on the town. Let’s be honest, it’s still fun to have actual date nights out of the house…sans kids, especially, but just making an effort at home works as well.
Date night IN tips:
- Eat at an actual table, not in front of the TV. Set it up nice, pour some wine (in a WINE glass) and make it feel special. Sit and enjoy the meal together. Try to limit convo about the kids…unless you happen to be yelling at them to go to sleep 🙂
- Experiment with new cocktails or drinks. We love to grab some new a la carte bottles of beer and make our own flights. This is a great time to check out a new InBooze kit flavor too. The Old Fashioned kit is great to sip on the rocks.
- Splurge a little on the meal. We don’t feel bad spending a little more than usual on a nice steak for our date nights at home. It’s much cheaper than having a restaurant prepare it, plus it feels special. For this recipe, I like to get scallops frozen at Trader Joe’s. They’re a great quality and quite affordable!
- Pick a new movie to enjoy. Yes, binging a show is fun, too. But sometimes there are movies you’d love to see in theater, but didn’t get a chance to. Spend like $5 and rent on from an On Demand service…or even cheaper from Redbox.
- Cook together. I like to save recipes that look date night worthy, then we pick one to prepare together. Since the kiddos go to bed around 8:30, we wait until after to start cooking. A late lunch or light snack helps hold you over until a later dinner!
Since this is a seafood dish, we pair it with a white wine. I am on a Chardonnay kick, I tend to gravitate towards JaM cellars Butter wine (around $12ish) or a nice Pinot Gris. If you like a sweeter white, try a Riesling or Gewürztraminer. Wine can be super confusing, so I like to shop at a local place where there are plenty of people there to ask questions to. Don’t be shy, they’re there to help you! Even at Trader Joe’s, they are super helpful.
- 1 package Linguine, 16 ounces
- 1/3 pound scallops - defrosted and dry, if frozen
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and ground pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 1/3 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- Zest from one lemon, plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, torn
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon oil from jar of sun-dried tomatoes
- Garnish: lemon wedges, fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese
- Prepare linguine according to package directions, al dente (about 1-2 minutes less). Set aside.
- Using a paper towel, pat dry the scallops, season with salt and pepper, set aside.
- Cut the zucchini in half widthwise, chopping off the hard top. Using a peeler, peel zucchini into thin strips, then cut the strips in half lengthwise. (You can also spiralize, if desired)
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil. When heated, add in the scallops and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 - 3 minutes. Turn scallops over and cook the second side in the same manner. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in the shallot and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add in the zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes, cook 1 minute. Lower heat to low, add in the linguine, lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomato oil and 1 tablespoon butter, mix to combine, keep warm over low heat.
- Return the scallops to the skillet. Toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- To serve, garnish with additional fresh basil, lemon wedges and parmesan cheese and enjoy!
You can find great frozen scallops at Trader Joe's or Fresh Thyme.
Adapted from a Buitoni Pasta recipe.
What kind of meals would you make for a Date Night IN? I’d love some ideas!