Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Scallops

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Scallops

 1/2           cup  plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound bay scallops – rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fennel seeds – crushed
2 tablespoons shallots – peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic – peeled and minced
3/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 large firm, ripe, red tomatoes – peeled, cored, seeded and diced
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound thin asparagus – trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup finely chopped basil
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound linguine
1/2 cup dry, unflavored bread crumbs – lightly toasted in the oven

Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add scallops and fennel and cook over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the scallops are opaque. Remove from pan and place in large bowl. Set aside.

Add shallots, garlic, 1/2 cup of the parsley and wine to skillet and reduce to a glaze. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, asparagus, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add scallop mixture and basil, stir and keep warm on low heat.

Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender, (firm to the bite). Drain and toss with scallop mixture, add bread crumbs, toss again, garnish with remaining 1/4 cup parsley and serve immediately.