Pan Seared Scallops over Octopus Braised Swiss Chard and Squid Ink Fettuccine

Once again I am not working off of a recipe.  I pieced this together while walking through the grocery store and seeing what was available.  This fish counter didn’t have anything I had never cooked before, so I decided to make something “fancy” instead.  Here is my ingredient list.   This can be changed up depending on what is available.


1 – Package Octopus in oil ( I used Reese Fancy Octopus 4 oz)

2 – Bunches of Swiss Chard or Rainbow Chard

1 – Package of Al Dente Squid Ink Fettuccine Noodles

8 – Large Scallops

6 – Crimini Mushrooms, Sliced

2 – Cloves of garlic, minced

1 – Tbs of Canola oil

2 – Tbs of Extra virgin Olive oil.

2 – Shakes of Parmesan Cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

The first thing I did was drain the octopus pieces so I could use the oil for the Swiss chard.  Before I begin prepping up the other items I get 2 pots of water on the stove so they can head toward a rolling boil.  They should be good-sized because you are going to use them for the pasta and chard.  I would also pull the scallops out of the fridge and put them on a paper towel to dry.  Now back to prepping.  Clean and prep the chard just like you would do most any greens.  Pinch the leaves toward one another, starting at the base, and pull them off.  Discard the stem.  Stack up some of the leaves and cut them into 1/2 to 1 inch strips.  It cooks down more like spinach than other greens.

This is where it gets interesting.  Add 2 saute pans to the other two eyes.  I know, using 4 burners at one time, for one dish seems excessive.  Trust me it is actually easy.   The only reason you need 4 at one time is for the timing, so that everything gets done about the same time.  In saute pan number one add about 2 table spoons of the reserved octopus oil and heat over medium.  Add the sliced crimini mushrooms and garlic.  Rough chop the octopus and add it as well. Flip the scallops over on the paper towel to make sure they are getting good and dry.  Next add the chard to one of the pots of boiling water.  Cook for about 3 minutes.  You do this to pull some of the acids out of the chard.  Once this is done drain it and add it to the mushrooms and octopus.  Stir it in well and reduce the heat to medium low.  Season the chard at this time.  You are just trying to marry the flavors at this point.

You can now add the canola oil the second saute pan and bring it up to a medium – medium high heat.  Once it is hot season the scallops with salt and add them to the pan.  I would also drop my pasta in the water at this point.  This brand only takes 3 minutes to cook.  Make sure the pasta water is well salted.  It should taste like ocean water.  Once the scallops have browned on once side, flip them over.  It will probably take 3 or 4 minutes.  Cook them about the same amount of time on the other side.  You want them to be cooked to medium at the most.  Once you get higher than that they get very chewy, not “good eats”.  Once my pasta is done drain it, in the same strainer you used for the chard.  Put it back in the pot you just drained from and add the chard, mushroom and octopus mixture.  Now is when you would add the extra virgin olive oil.  I find it easiest to toss it with a pair of tongs.

Now that everything is cooked it’s time to plate it up.  Using a pair of tongs pull some of the pasta/chard out of the pot.  Put it on the plate, twisting it to try to give it some height.  The give each plate a couple shakes of Parmesan cheese.  If you have a block of parm that is even better.  You could shave some on with a veggie peeler.  Next cut the scallops in half giving you 16 medallions.  Arrange these on the top of the pasta.  This is a very nice looking dish.  The contrast of the squid ink pasta, mushrooms and the scallops pops nicely on the plate, especially a very white plate.  I will definitely be making this again.  The family loved it.  There is also enough pasta left over for lunch the next day.

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