Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
1 pound dry sea scallops, tough side muscle removed (see Note)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
12 ounces whole-wheat fusilli, or rotini
1 tablespoon Pernod, or other anise-flavored liqueur
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
If scallops are large, halve or quarter them, depending on size.
Trim base from fennel bulb; remove and discard stalks at the point where they branch from the bulb. Reserve the bulb and chop 2 tablespoons of the feathery leaves. Cut off and discard any discolored parts of the bulb. Quarter the bulb lengthwise, core and slice thinly crosswise. Set aside.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced fennel and garlic, and saute until the fennel is crisp-tender and beginning to color, about 3 minutes. Add the scallops and saute until opaque in the center, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add Pernod (or other liqueur) and cook for 30 seconds more.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the scallop mixture, lemon zest and lemon juice; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the reserved chopped fennel fronds.
Note: Be sure to buy “dry” sea scallops (scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops that have been treated with STP (“wet” scallops) have been subjected to a chemical bath and are not only mushy and less flavorful, but will not brown properly.