Recipe of the Week: Healthy cream sauce? This scallop pasta has it

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 Austin360 Eats
This creamy lemon-caper sauce is served with pasta and scallops. Contributed by Diabetic Living

How do you make a creamy sauce without so much fat? If you’re watching your calorie intake, you probably (and wisely) avoid heavy, creamy sauces that are filled with butter and cream.

There are workarounds, however. Not everyone loves cornstarch-thickened sauces, but it’s a good trick to know about. In this recipe from “Diabetic Living Healthy Makeovers for Diabetes: Simple Ways to Transform Your Cooking” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $19.99), the editors of Diabetic Living share a recipe for a lemon caper sauce made with fat-free milk and cornstarch, which are whisked together over heat. It’s not unlike a gravy, but with the addition of leeks and capers, this mix works as a sauce to serve with scallops and pasta.

Scallops and Pasta with Lemon-Caper Sauce

1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen sea scallops

4 ounces dried multigrain or whole grain penne or rotini pasta

3 cups trimmed, coarsely shredded Swiss chard or kale

1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and bias-sliced crosswise

Nonstick cooking spray

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 medium leeks, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups fat-free milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary or thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme, crushed

2 tablespoons capers, drained

Thaw scallops, if frozen. Rinse scallops; pat dry with paper towels. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions, adding chard and zucchini the last 4 minutes of cooking time. Drain; keep warm.

Meanwhile, lightly coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Preheat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Add scallops to hot skillet; cook 4 to 6 minutes or until scallops are opaque, turning once. Remove scallops from skillet; keep warm.

Add oil to hot skillet; reduce heat to medium. Add leeks and garlic; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring to scrape up any browned bits.

In a bowl, whisk together milk and cornstarch until smooth. Add to leek mixture along with lemon zest, rosemary and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Add to pasta mixture, tossing to coat. Top pasta mixture with scallops and capers. Serves 4 to 6.

— From “Diabetic Living Healthy Makeovers for Diabetes: Simple Ways to Transform Your Cooking” by the editors of Diabetic Living (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $19.99)

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