Recipes

Creamy Tuscan Scallops


Who doesn’t love pasta?! I absolutely love pasta of all kinds, deep rich tomato based all the way to lush creamy based sauces, which leads us to this amazing creamy Tuscan scallops over thick linguine noodles. Yum!!

This sauce is filled with bacon, beautiful sun dried tomatoes, spinach and cheese, ultimate comfort I tell you. Perfect seared scallops makes this the perfect pairing. If you aren’t a fan of scallops, can’t get your hands on them or simply want to sub them out, you can easily use shrimp or chickenin place of the scallops.

This recipe is fairly easy to whip together.

We start by removing the moisture from the scallops, important step here! You want to remove the moisture so that when you sear they get nice and golden brown. If there is to much moisture in them, they will release that during the searing process, which will slow the browning and result in overcooked, rubbery scallops. Then we are all sad, seriously. I’d cry with you if scallops overcooked. The thought alone makes me sad. 😭

So place those scallops between some paper towels and remove the moisture, you can change out the paper towels once if you want. Ok, while those are doing their thing we are going to start cooking those noodles according to the package directions. I like my noodles al dente, but you do you. 😉 Now before you drain, save about 1 1/2 cups of that pasta water! We’re going to use that later.

Now, let’s get our skillet nice and hot! Chop your bacon into about 1/2” slices. Add it to your hot pan and cook until nice and crispy. Set aside onto paper towel lined plate to remove that excess grease. Depending how much bacon grease is in the bottom of the pan, we’re going to use that to sear our scallops. If there is a ton you can drain some out. I use bacon from ButcherBox, and I’ve noticed it’s quite lean, I get the perfect amount of grease left behind.

Ready to brown our beautiful scallops?! Ok, make sure you skillet is nice and hot again, same one we crisped the bacon in, work in batches and add the scallops. I like to lightly salt as I sear. About 2 or 3 minutes per side, until they are nice and golden. You can tell they are done when they are lightly opaque. Remove from skillet to a plate and continue until all scallops are seared.

Add your butter to the skillet because butter makes everything better right?! Add mined shallots and sauté for about 3 minutes, add in garlic and sauté and additional 30 seconds, we don’t want to burn that beautiful garlic. You just want it nice and fragrant. Now we’re going to add in some white wine, always, always use wine you would drink! For creamy seafood dishes I like to use Pinot Grigio, if you want to keep the alcohol out of this dish, you can definitely substitute the white wine for chicken or veggie stock. Allow your wine to reduce, I found 5 minutes to be my golden number for this step. Once reduced its time to stir in those scrumptious sun dried tomatoes! Do you love sun dried tomatoes as much as I do? Stir those sun dried tomatoes in and cook for about 2 more minutes. Now the bacon, here I’ll leave it up to you, you can stir it all in to the sauce OR you can save it and sprinkle on to the top of the pasta at the end, I prefer using it on top so it doesn’t get soggy, but that’s just my personal preference!

Almost done and it’s smelling amazing right?! We’re going to stir in our spinach until nice and wilted, then we are going to add in our herbs, fresh is best but use what you have, dried works as well. Parsley, oregano and some basil. 🤤

Let’s stir in the heavy cream and about a cup of that reserved pasta water. Taste, and season accordingly with salt and pepper. If sauce is too thick you can slowly add in that additional 1/2 cup of pasta water. Cheese time! Stir in the parmigiano regiano until nicely melted into the sauce.

Scallops get to go for a swim back into the pan of sauce, add any juices from the plate that the scallops were resting on as well. Stir gently into the sauce.

We made it! Time to eat the masterpiece you just created. Add your noodles to a bowl, add that creamy delicious sauce, and about 3 or 4 scallops per bowl. Top with some parsley, a little more cheese and bacon if you saved it for this step.

Stare at your beautiful bowl for a second, pour yourself some of that Pinot Grigio and dig in! Mmmmm! Heaven I tell you!

If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and let me know, I’d love your feed back.

Creamy Tuscan Scallops

Sear scallops in creamy sauce, served over linguine.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author chericeperkins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Scallops patted dry
  • 5 Slices Bacon cut into 1/2” slices
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes Julienned in oil, drained
  • 1 Bag Baby Spinach chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley minced
  • 1 tbsp oregano minced
  • 1 tbsp basil minced
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 lb linguine cooked according to package
  • 1 1/2 cups reserved pasta water

Instructions

  • 1. Lay paper towel out on plate and lay scallops on the paper towel to dry. You don't want a lot of moisture with scallops as it will hinder the searing process.
  • 2. Cook linguine according to package. Save 1 1/2 cups of pasta water for sauce.
  • 3. Heat large skillet, over med-high.
  • 4. Cook bacon until crispy, remove from pan and set aside. Do not drain bacon grease from pan as we will use it to sear the scallops.
  • 5. Working in batches, in hot pan sear scallops in saved bacon grease. Here you can season the scallops with salt and pepper as they cook. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Golden and lightly opaque. Remove from skillet to plate and set aside.
  • 6. Add butter to skillet, add shallots and sautè for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for an additional 30 seconds, you want the garlic nice and fragrant. Pour in white wine, (if you do not wish to use white wine, you can use a chicken or veggie stock in this step) allow wine to reduce. Usually around 5 minutes, I find is perfect. Add sun-dried tomatoes and continue to cook around 2-3 minutes. Stir in reserved bacon here or save to add to top at the end.
  • 7. Add spinach and allow to wilt down, add parsley, oregano, and basil.
  • 8. Stir in heavy cream, and about 1 cup of reserved pasta water. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. If you need to add the other 1/2 of pasta water due so now. Stir in parmigiano regiano until melted nicely into the sauce.
  • 9. Add scallops back to pan, and any juices that are left on the plate. Stir gently into the sauce.
  • To serve, place your noodles into a bowl, add that creamy delicious sauce and 3-4 scallops per bowl. Top with a little parsley, and more cheese. If you saved your bacon for serving add that too.

Notes

You can substitute the scallops for shrimp, or chicken. You can follow same directions for shrimp. Sear then nicely until they are pink. For chicken, dice into 1” chunks and sear until cooked through.
If you don’t want to use wine, you can use chicken or veggie stock.