Scallops The Tuscan Way

This month our star chef Rodriquez has picked the Tuscany region of Italy for one of its speciality dishes of Pasta with Scallops.

“This dish differs from many seafood recipes in that the star of the show, seared scallops, are served whole. The dish is not a mix of various different sea foods which, in my opinion, can look too fussy and does not have one central feature. This does and no mistake. Try it and enjoy.

“Let’s start with the pasta, this recipe uses Linguine, which resembles fettuccine but is narrower. I feel this is ideal for this dish, as it is not as heavy as many other pastas and ideal with the lightness of fresh scallops.

Firstly, ensure it is cooked to the correct point. To achieve this, cook the Linguine just a minute or so shy of the package directions, as the Linguine will cook a little more in the sauce.

Now, a tip on searing scallops. The basic rule is that as little as possible is the key.  Scallops can be purchased in shell or out. In shell ensures they are as fresh as possible.  When buying scallops in their shells, ensure they are still alive – they will be closed, or when the shells are tapped, they close. If the scallops are dead, the shells will remain open when tapped.

For the opening technique go to the end of the recipe.

Making the sauce:-


  • 2 pounds jumbo scallops
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper for seasoning the scallops
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoon solive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1(7 ounce) jar sliced sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1 pound Linguine
  • Fresh black pepper and chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Melt two tablespoons of butter in the pan, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, stir and cook for a minute longer and pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan.
  2. Let the wine cook down until it is reduced by half (about 2 minutes) then pour in the chicken broth and cream and gently bring to a simmer.
  3. Mix the rice, flour and water together and pour into the simmering sauce. Whisk the sauce and bring it back to a simmer, cooking for 5 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thickened.
  4. Add the spinach and the sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce, stirring the spinach into the sauce to wilt. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Cook the Linguine, remove from water and cover to keep hot.

Searing the scallops

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter together with the olive oil in a cast iron or stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the scallops with salt and pepper generously on both sides, then add them to the skillet.
  3. Cook the scallops on one side for 2 minutes maximum until they form a brown crust.
  4. Turn the scallops over and let cook for another minute on the other side until browned.

Remove the scallops to a plate and cover with foil.

Now add the Linguine to the sauce, combine gently then add the scallops ensuring they are covered with the sauce and serve onto warm plates for individual servings. Voila!

Technique for preparing your scallops

  1. Hold the scallop firmly in your hand with the flat side of the shell next to your thumb and the curved side next to your fingers. The tip of the shell should be on the work surface

2. Slide a knife into the shell at the top and twist so that the hinge breaks

3. Slide the knife down the flat side of the shell to release the meat

4. Open and use a spoon to dislodge the scallop from the other half of the shell; the scallop is connected by a white muscle so free this part and the rest should come away easily

5. You now need to remove the ‘skirt’ of the scallop: holding the scallop in your hand, locate the white muscle and use the thumb of your free hand to slide in between the muscle and the            meat. Slide your thumb all the way round the scallop being careful not to cut yourself!

6. Carefully pull the skirt from the scallop and discard

7. Wash the scallop quickly in iced water removing any residue

8. Place onto a tea towel to dry.


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