YIELD: 4 SERVINGS
3 cups whole milk
½ cup butter
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of nutmeg
8 oz. white cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsps. chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 Tbsps. panko bread crumbs
Mac and Cheese:
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
1 lb. cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente, drained
Scallops and Asparagus:
16 large sea scallops
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
6 asparagus spears, grilled, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 oz. Wisconsin Parmesan cheese, shredded
1. For the bechamel: Heat milk in large saucepan; bring to a simmer. Melt ½ cup butter in small sauté pan and slowly whisk in flour to form a paste. Slowly add flour mixture to hot milk. Cook and stir until thick. Season with nutmeg and stir in half of the white Cheddar cheese. Set aside.
2. For the gremolatta: Mix lemon zest, parsley and bread crumbs in small bowl. Set aside.
3. For the mac & cheese: Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in 12 to 18-inch sauté pan. Add garlic and cook until translucent. Add heavy cream and peas. When warm, add béchamel. Cook and stir until hot. Toss in cooked pasta and remaining white Cheddar cheese. Turn burner to low.
4. For the scallops and asparagus: Dry scallops with towel. Season tops with salt and pepper. Heat 12 to 18-inch sauté pan very hot. Add vegetable oil. Heat until very hot. Carefully place each scallop in pan, seasoned side down. Cook 50 seconds or until browned. Turn scallops over. Toss in the asparagus and remove pan from heat.
5. To assemble: Taste pasta and season to taste. Divide into four large shallow bowls. Arrange scallops in the middle of the pasta and top with asparagus. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and gremolatta on top.
Recipe and image: Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board