Brown Butter Scallops with Tomato Puree and Pancetta

Brown Butter Scallops with Tomato Puree and Pancetta
Makes 12 scallops

1 cup wine - for the cook


4 to 5 ounces of Pancetta or bacon, fried crisp and chopped up
Drain on a paper towel and set aside until ready to serve.

For the Tomato Puree
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup diced shallots
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth (plus a bit more if needed)
tiny pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
3-4 basil leaves, chiffonade
salt and pepper 

In a small saucepan heat the olive oil. Add shallots and garlic and cook over medium-low heat until softened but not browned. Add the tomatoes, broth, oregano, pepper flakes and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened and slightly reduced. Cool for a 10-15 minutes; transfer to a blender and blend until pureed. Taste, add more salt if needed. Wipe out the pan and return tomato puree to the saucepan. Re-heat' adding more chicken broth if needed. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.)


For the Brown Butter Scallops 
12 large (U-10) dry Scallops
olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon butter

Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put a skillet over high heat until smoking hot and add the butter. When melted add scallops (working in 2 or 3 batches-depending on the size of the pan) to the pan and sear until browned and scallops release themselves from the pan; about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Flip and sear the other side. (About 3-4 minutes total cooking time-max) Hold on a warm plate and cover in foil while searing the remaining and making the brown butter sauce. 


Brown Butter Sauce
4 Tablespoons of salted butter
6-8 basil leaves, chiffonade

While scallops are searing, melt the butter over medium-high heat until brown and bubbly and nutty smelling. Remove from heat. 


To Serve: Put a smear or circular dollop of the heated tomato puree on warmed plates; top with desired number or scallops and drizzle each with brown butter. Add fried pancetta (or bacon) and garnish with basil.