Lemon and Garlic Pasta With Pan-Seared Scallops

Lemon and Garlic Pasta With Pan-Seared Scallops

For a delicious and quick meal, this pasta and scallops dish will hit the spot.










  • 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. 

Tip: Delicious with a side of Baby Spinach With Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

Nutrition (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