1. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil while you whip up your salsa verde. Peel and finely chop the garlic clove, and pop it in a mixing bowl. Pick the mint leaves and set them on a chopping board. Add the parsley, leaves and stalks. Using a large cook’s knife, finely mince the herbs together. Add them to the garlic. Finely grate in the zest from the lemon and squeeze in its juice. Rinse 4 anchovy fillets and 2 tbsp capers, pat dry and finely chop them. Add to the bowl with a pinch of black pepper. Add 100ml olive oil and stir. Taste the sauce and add a little more pepper, or a pinch of salt if you think it needs it. Set aside.
2. Scrub, peel and chop the beetroot into thin wedges. Put a deep frying pan on a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Add the beetroot wedges, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and fry for 4-5 mins, stirring often, till the beetroot starts to darken and caramelise. Crumble in half the stock cube. Add 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and 350ml cold water and stir to mix. Pop a lid on the pan (or use a baking tray if you don’t have a lid) and simmer for 12-15 mins, stirring often, till the beetroot is tender when pierced with a fork or skewer. The liquid should reduce by half. Set the beetroot aside, covered, to keep warm.
3. Check the water in the large pan – it should be boiling by now. Add the tagliatelle and simmer for 8-10 mins, till the pasta is tender but still has a little bite to it. When the pasta is ready, ladle out a mugful of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and add it to the beetroot. Gently toss to mix, trickling in a little pasta water if the dish seems a little dry. Taste, adjust the seasoning, then pop the lid back on the pan and set aside to keep warm while you cook the scallops.
4. Put a separate frying pan on a high heat. Drizzle in a little olive oil and add the scallops in the pan. Fry for 2-3 mins on each side, till golden brown.
5. Divide the tagliatelle between a couple of warm plates and top with the scallops. Spoon a little salsa verde over each to serve.
6. Tip: This recipe makes more than enough salsa verde. You can store any extra in a clean, sealed tub or jar in the fridge for up to a week. It’s brilliant served with fish, grilled chicken, lamb kebabs or steaks, dolloped over burrata or mozzarella salads or stirred into soft cheese to make a topping for baked sweet potatoes.
7. Tip: Just one frying pan? When the pasta is drained, tip it back into the large pan and tip in the contents of the beetroot pan. Toss together and set aside, then wipe the frying pan clean so you can cook the scallops.