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Linguine with Scallops and Cilantro Cream Sauce

This perfect end of summer pasta dish utilizes beautiful in season zucchini and corn and pairs them with a unique and delicious cilantro cream sauce and freshly seared scallops.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 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
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup zucchini, quartered and thinly sliced (about 1/4th inch)
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen I used frozen
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 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 cup 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 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 boil.
  • Turn heat down to low and add in parmesan cheese and salt. Cook for about 1 minute and add in cilantro.
  • Add cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce, adding a few splashes of pasta water to bring the dish together.
    *Note* You may not need the entire cup of pasta water. Start with about 1/4th cup and add more as needed.
  • Cook the pasta for another minute or 2 over low heat until pasta is well coated. Remove from the heat and cover while you cook the scallops.

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.
  • Serve scallops over linguine with a wedge of lemon and enjoy!
Keyword Pasta, Scallops, Seafood