Lemon Butter Pasta with Seared Scallops
This lemon butter pasta with seared scallops recipe is the ultimate seafood pasta recipe. Perfect for nights when you want to throw something delicious together, but don’t have a lot of time. This seafood pasta recipe has the perfect mix of lemon, butter and aromatics that tastes so incredible when combined. Add the crispy seared scallops and this recipe is weeknight perfection.
About this recipe
For this recipe, I chose scallops as the protein because they cook very fast. However, they can be expensive, so you can swap them for chicken, salmon or tofu too. Also, I like using Delallo Foods pasta. It’s great quality, texture and cooks up perfectly every time. For this lemon butter pasta recipe, I used their cavatappi pasta and it tasted great! It’s shaped like a mini corkscrew with a hollow center. As a result, the lemon butter sauce easily stick to the cooked pasta.
When prepping the scallops, you’ll want to make sure you remove the foot. The foot is a small rubbery pieces on the side of the scallop where it once attached itself to the shell. The foot is not soft and is unpleasant to eat. Once you’ve removed this make sure to pat the scallops dry using a paper towel. Absorbing any excess moisture on the surface of the scallop will allow it get a nice crispy sear. Season with salt and pepper right before you add the scallops to the pan. Do not let the salt sit on the scallop or it will draw up moisture again. Following these steps will give you crispy seared scallops every single time.
Another bonus, it that you can customize this lemon butter pasta recipe to your liking. For example, if you have leftover vegetables from the night before, simply chop them up and add them to the pasta. In my opinion, you can never have enough seasonal vegetables. That said, I do suggest always cooking your pasta al dente. It will continue to cook in the sauce along with the other ingredients, so you dont want it to get too mushy.
Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. To reheat simply microwave until heated through. Just keep in mind that the scallops are delicate so if you microwave them too long, they’ll get rubbery. Looking for a simple salad to serve with this dinner? Try my butter lettuce salad. It’s simple, healthy and delicious. Plus, all the fresh herbs will aid with digestion.
Lemon Butter Pasta with Seared Scallops
Pasta and scallops
- 8 ounces cavatappi pasta, Delallo Foods brand
- ¼ cup pasta water , reserved
- 6-8 medium-large scallops , remove the foot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , extra for drizzling over the pasta
- ½ cup shallots , finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup white wine , something dry like sauvignon blanc
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pinch cracked black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil , and some extra to garnish the dish
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese, for garnish
- pasta pot
- saute pan
Prepare the pasta
- Boil a pot of water and season it with salt.
- Cook your pasta according to the package. Reserve a 1/4 cup of pasta water. Drain off the rest of the pasta water using a colander. Drizzle the pasta with olive oil and set it aside.
Prepare the sauce and pasta
- In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic and finely diced shallots. Sweat until they begin to brown.
- Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup white wine. Be sure to scrape up any crispy pieces from the bottom of the pan.
- Next, you’ll add the butter, lemon juice, basil, peas, salt, and pepper. Simmer and reduce for 5-10 minutes.
- Once the butter has melted and the peas have softened, you will add the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water. Reduce the heat to low, and stir until the pasta is well coated in the sauce.
Prepare the scallops:
- Heat the vegetable oil in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season the scallops directly before you add them to the hot oil. Make sure you have prepared the scallops following all of the steps listed above.
- Sear for about 1.5-2 minutes per side. This may slightly vary based on the thickness of the scallop.
- Once they have a golden-brown sear on both sides, nestle them into the pasta with the sauce.
- Garnish the dish with some extra basil and parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!