Linguine with Scallops (Linguine alle Capesante)

Many Italian dishes have an amazing return on ‘investment’: a low number of ingredients and a simple and quick preparation yields a lot of flavor. This is certainly also true for linguine with scallops, although it is fair to say that anything with sea scallops is delicious. This dish takes less than 15 minutes to prepare from start to finish.

The ‘sauce’ of this dish consists of olive oil and the juices from the scallops. Although spaghetti could also be used, linguine is more common for seafood and it has a different texture. Linguine are flatter than spaghetti and also seem smoother. The tricky part of this dish is to cook the garlic and the scallops just right, without overcooking either of them.


For 1 serving

75 grams (.16 lb) linguine

1 clove garlic

4 sea scallops, about 150 grams (.33 lb)

1/2 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and linguine and cook al dente according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, cut the scallops in halves and then in quarters.

Wait until the pasta is almost ready, about 3 minutes before. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the garlic.

Add the scallops and sauté over high heat. I waited slightly too long with adding the scallops, so the garlic turned a little darker than I like it.

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan.

Add most of the parsley as well and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Toss to mix.

Serve immediately on a warm plate, sprinkled with the remaining parsley.

Wine pairing

This works well with many unoaked Italian whites that have some roundness to them to go well with the scallops, such as this Verdicchio dei castelli di Jesi.


Another delicious seafood primo two years ago: risotto with jumbo shrimp. This risotto has amazing depth of flavor because it uses the heads and shells of the shrimp to flavor the stock for the risotto.

4 thoughts on “Linguine with Scallops (Linguine alle Capesante)

  1. An absolutely ‘jump in the mouth’ dish – beautiful!! Lucky the cook who can buy such plump and obviously very fresh scallops as a starting point.


  2. Italian cooking at its best, Stefan, not complicated but simple with fresh ingredients. Your delicious dish here is the perfect example of that. You’re spot on with your caution about over-cooking the scallops. Better to undercook them a bit, allowing them to finish in the serving platter, than to leave them in the pan too long.


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