Marnie says "When I was a kid one of my very favorite dishes was spaghetti with lots of butter, some cheese, and salt and pepper. When I grew up and the dish had gotten trendy, I learned that Italians called it cacio e pepe, cheese and pepper.
When I was making scallop recipes I called it bucatini con principessa (a humorous name for a kind of rather thick spaghetti and our small, sweet princess scallops). The other day when I was chatting with Sandy Oliver who writes for Island Institute she said one of the things she liked about our book was that it was “simple but sophisticated”. What a lovely thing to say.
The “simple” part ought to be a clue that this dish is something you can whip up during the current covid-19 challenging time. Instead of arguing over just what combination of Grana Padano, pecorino Romano, or Parmigiano-Reggiano you should use, you look in your fridge and see what you have got. Chances are, you do have a bit of feta and maybe even a bit of Gruyere. Whatever, you are good to go if you have some of your scallops put away in the freezer.
These challenging times require patience. The pandemic has thrown wrenches into the gears of all sorts of endeavors, and availability of live, whole, farm-raised scallops is one of them. Everything from site inspection by a crew manning a boat so an aquaculture license can be granted for granting leases to restaurants and seafood festivals has been put on hold for now. You may have to make your cacio e pepe kid-style for a while longer. But never fear, whole sea scallops raised in our clean Maine waters is such a good thing that in time they will come to your table."