Lemon and Garlic Pasta with Pan-Seared Scallops

Lemon and Garlic Pasta with Pan-Seared Scallops

Lemon and Garlic Pasta with Pan-Seared Scallops


1 large lemon, grated for zest (and freshly squeezed for 2 Tbsp lemon juice)
1 Tbsp garlic, minced or pressed (about 2–3 cloves)
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided into two 1-Tbsp portions
16 large sea scallops (about 1 lb)
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper
8 oz very thin spaghetti (vermicelli or angel hair)
2 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese


  1. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, reduce heat to simmer until you’re ready to cook the pasta (step 5).
  2. While the water is heating up, use a grater to take off small peels of the skin of one lemon into a small saucepan.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pan and remove pits.  Use the back of a large spoon to press the inside of the lemon to extract more juice. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the saucepan.  Stir to blend well.  Place on stovetop on low heat.
  3. Heat a large nonstick pan or grill pan on high temperature until very hot.  Sprinkle the scallops with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Toss to coat well.
  4. Place the scallops in the hot pan.  Cook about 4 minutes on each side, or until scallops are well browned and firm and milky white to the center (to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F).
  5. After turning the scallops to the second side, drop the pasta into the boiling water.  Set temperature on medium, and cook for 2 minutes or the shortest recommended time according to package directions.
  6. When the pasta is done, set aside ½ cup of the cooking water.  Drain the pasta.  Return drained pasta to the pot, and toss with the warm olive oil mixture and the ½ cup reserved pasta water.
  7. Divide the pasta equally among four plates (about 1 cup per plate).  Top each with four scallops.
  8. Garnish each dish with ½ tablespoon of shredded parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.


Serves 4; Serving size = 4 scallops, 1 cup pasta

Per Serving: Calories 376; Total Fat 9 g; Saturated Fat 2 g; Cholesterol 48 mg; Sodium 429 mg; Total Fiber 2 g; Protein 28 g; Carbohydrates 43 g; Potassium 426 mg


Recipe courtesy of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

277 people recommend this.
Vote up!
277 people recommend this.
Vote up!
Voice Your Perspective

My partner has been a seafood-only vegetarian for several years. I'm slowly coming around to it and this is a nice seafood dish I think I can make for us.

Sounds like an easy and elegant meal to cook. My heart will thank me. 

Post new comment

Note: Please do not include any medical, personal or confidential information within your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, we reserve the right to moderate comments as needed to prevent medical, personal and confidential information from being posted to this site. In addition, all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off-topic commentary will be removed. We thank you for your cooperation. By submitting your comment, you are agreeing to Live Well New York privacy policy.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.