One busy night, Robin Grant had little on hand except a lemon and some scallops. With fresh basil from her garden and some dried pasta, it became a delicious weeknight meal.
In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 4 quarts water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender to bite, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan (with sides at least 2 in. tall) over medium heat, stir onion and garlic in olive oil until limp, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add lemon peel, lemon juice, butter, and scallops to pan with onions. Bring to a simmer and cook until scallops are opaque but still moist-looking in the center (cut to test), about 6 minutes.
Add pasta and basil to scallop mixture and stir until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a wide, shallow bowl to serve.
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