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Bay scallops in basil cream sauce

I’m back from Oregon! During my short trip to attend my step-fathers graduation, I picked up 6 bottles of Willamette Valley wine (mostly Pinot Noirs) and a sunburn (I didn’t get the memo about the 4 hour ceremony being outdoors). I actually got back on Monday, but the past 2 nights have been occupied working
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Dairy, Shellfish
Diet Pescatarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings


  • 1/2 pound dry bay scallops
  • 1 tablespoon cultured unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small spring onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Pernod (or other anise flavoured liqueur)
  • 1/4 cup basil chiffonade
  • salt (to taste)
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 220 grams pasta (I used homemade pappardelle)


  1. The trick with this recipe is to make the sauce ahead, then time the pasta and scallops so they are done at the same time. Depending on the type of pasta you're using it will take different amounts of time, so I'll leave it to your discretion as to when to start the pasta.
  2. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a pan. Saute the onions until soft and starting to caramelize. Add the wine and lemon juice and reduce until thick and gluggy. Whisk in the cream and Pernod and turn down the heat to keep it warm.

  3. Clean and dry the scallops. Heat a non-teflon pan over high heat until hot. Lightly salt and pepper the scallops. Add the butter to the pan and swirl to melt. When the bubbling subsides add the scallops in a single layer without overcrowding the pan. Sear undisturbed until brown then flip with tongs. Cook until the top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 of the scallop is opaque and the middle 1/3 is still translucent.
  4. Transfer the scallops to a plate then add the cream sauce to the pan that the scallops came out of and deglaze. All that brown fond on the pan adds umami to the sauce. Add the basil to the sauce then put the drained pasta in the sauce and stir to coat.
  5. Plate the pasta then top with the scallops and drizzle any remaining sauce on top.