This Linguine with Scallops and Cilantro Cream Sauce is the perfect end of summer dish that utilizes beautiful in season zucchini and corn and pairs them with a unique and delicious cilantro cream sauce and freshly seared scallops!
Sometimes a recipe just feel meant to be and that is certainly the case with this absolutely scrumptious seafood pasta dish.
I completely had something else in mind for dinner but after seeing some beautiful scallops on sale at Sprouts I couldn't resist. I knew I wanted to pair them with a pasta but was feeling a bit more adventurous than the typical lemon/garlic/butter combination I'd normally go for. And I am so glad I did!
The combination of the bacon, sweet corn, zucchini, cilantro, cream and parmesan works beautifully with fresh scallops and perfectly coats the pasta. It's one of those dishes that you just want to keep eating and eating, and let me tell you, while we ate all the scallops last night, the leftover pasta this morning was dyn-o-mite. 10 out of 10 if I do say so myself. Do yourself a favor and do not wait to make this pasta.
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Made this Linguine with Scallops and Cilantro Cream Sauce? Let me know what you think in the comments!
Linguine with Scallops and Cilantro Cream Sauce
- 1-2 lb large fresh scallops
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper for seasoning scallops
- 1 lb linguine
- 3 strips bacon, chopped
- ½ onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup zucchini, quartered and thinly sliced (about ¼th inch)
- 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen I used frozen
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup shredded parmesan
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ lemon, juice of 1-2 tsps (you can add more or less lemon juice according to taste)
- Lemon wedges
- chopped cilantro optional, for garnish
Make the pasta & sauce
- Salt some boiling water and cook linguine to al dente according to package instructions.*Note* To get a true al dente you may need to cook a minute or 2 less than what the package says.
- Reserve about 1 to 2 cups of pasta cooking water, drain pasta and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat and cook chopped bacon until crispy.
- Using a slotted spoon remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Add onions to the skillet and sautee in the bacon fat for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat until soft.
- Add sliced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add zucchini and continue to cook on medium for around 2 minutes.
- Add corn and cook for 1 minute more.
- Pour cream into the skillet and stir continuously until it comes to a simmer, about a minute or so.
- Turn heat to the lowest setting. Add in cilantro and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add cooked pasta to the pan along with the shredded parmesan cheese. Add in a few generous splashes of pasta water and continue to stir and cook over low heat for another minute or so. *Note* Start with about ¼th cup of the pasta water and continue to add more until you've reached your desired consistency. You may not need the entire 1-2 cups.
- Add in the cooked bacon and toss to combine. Add in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Taste and add additional salt, pepper and/or lemon juice according to your personal preference. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside while you cook the scallops. *Note* Do not throw away any leftover pasta water as you may want to add a little more before serving.
For the scallops
- Remove the scallops from the fridge and thoroughly pat down with a paper towel, absorbing as much moisture as possible.
- Heat about 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high/high heat until shimmering. You want to make sure the pan is very hot before adding the scallops.
- Generously eason one side of the scallops with salt and pepper and place the scallops, seasoned side down, in the hot pan. *Note* You may need to do this in batches as you don't want to overcrowd the pan which can result in the scallops steaming and not achieving that golden brown crust. (Still good, but better with the crust.)
- Cook undistrubed for about 2 minutes and while the scallops are cooking season the other side with salt and pepper.
- Flip the scallops to the other side and add a knob (about half a tbsp or so) of butter to the pan. Spoon the melted butter over the tops of the scallops and cook for another minute or 2 until done. Repeat process until all scallops are cooked.
- Check the pasta and add a little extra pasta water to thin out the sauce if needed. Serve topped with scallops, fresh cilantro and lemon wedges. Enjoy!