Seared fresh scallops pair beautifully with garlicky pasta. If you like, you can substitute 12 ounces of egg fettuccine for the pappardelle. Slicing the raw scallops in half horizontally will give you more pieces and more delicious seared crust.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water; drain pasta, and return to pot.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and breadcrumbs; cook, stirring, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove; wipe skillet clean.
Pat scallops dry; season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over high heat. In 2 batches, brown scallops, about 1 minute per side; transfer to a plate.
Add thyme, zest, and reserved cooking water to skillet. Simmer over medium heat, scraping up browned bits, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter and lemon juice.
Toss sauce with pasta. Top with scallops and breadcrumbs. Garnish with lemon wedges and thyme.
For best results, do not use a nonstick skillet when cooking the scallops.