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Creamy White Wine Scallops Pasta
- 24 oz sea scallops, size 10/20
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 oz white wine, Sauvignon Blanc or dry Riesling
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 8 oz spaghetti, or angel hair, fettuccine
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Generously salt it.
- Meanwhile, thoroughly dry the scallops with paper towels. (This is important to achieve beautiful seared crust!)
- Generously season with salt on both sides.
- When the pasta water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook it al dante according to package directions.
- Heat a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. (I recommend using 12-inch skillet to give plenty of room for scallops.)
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil.
- Add the scallops one by one into the sizzling hot skillet in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch each other. (Work in batches.)
- Sear the scallops for about 2 minutes without disruption until golden crust forms. If the scallops are still stuck to the pan, it means they are not ready. Don’t force it. Try again in about 30 seconds.
- Using a pair of kitchen tongs, flip the scallops and cook the other side for another 2 minutes. The center of the scallops should be slightly translucent. Overcooking will result in chewy, rubbery scallops that no one would care for. Remove the scallops onto a clean plate.
- Repeat with the remaining oil and scallops.
- When all the scallops are cooked, reduce heat to medium low and add wine. (Be careful as it might splatter when you add wine.) Deglaze the pan by scraping the bits off the bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon, about 1 minute.
- Pour in heavy cream and cook gently for about 2 minutes.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.
- Add pasta and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Salt taste. If needed, add reserved pasta cooking water to thin out the sauce.
- Add scallops and serve immediately.
My goodness, talk about gourmet! This delicious scallops pasta is a perfect meal to celebrate any special occasion, yet quick and easy enough for a busy weeknight.
That creamy rich sauce with a perfect tang from the wine is an absolute divine!! I won’t be surprised if you lick the plate. (We did.)
While it’s super easy to make this scallops pasta, there are a few tips to dinner success:
- Multitasking – To serve the dinner as quickly as possible, we’ll be multitasking. This dish consists of 2 main components, pasta and scallops. And we’ll be cooking them simultaneously. Since pasta takes the longest time to cook, we’ll start with pasta. First, boil the pasta water with lots of salt. Meanwhile, prepare the scallops. And then as soon as you drop pasta into the water, start cooking the scallops.
- Time management – So time management is essential here, because you need to start cooking the scallops as soon as you drop the pasta in boiling water. And your pasta should be ready by the time you finish cooking scallops.
- Speed – It doesn’t take long to cook scallops, 2-3 minutes per side. If overcooked, scallops turn into chewy rubbery mess. That’s why speed is key to success. Plus, you should be done with scallops when pasta is ready, because you don’t want to overcook your pasta.
Sounds like a project management tips, huh? 🙂 But if you follow these tips, you’ll serve the best scallops pasta in less than 45 minutes!!! And dinner will be a smashing success!
How much salt should I put in pasta water?
I didn’t specify the amount of salt for pasta cooking water. I usually just eye-ball it, but it’s A LOT! And I don’t do it in front of my husband, because he freaks out. Apparently I’m not alone. -> Read this great article on how to properly salt pasta water. (It also provides an easy to remember ratio for you!)
3 tips for perfectly seared golden crust on scallops:
- Dry the scallops really well with paper towels.
- Heat the skillet well before adding oil and scallops. It should be screaming hot!
- Let the scallops sear for at least full 2 minutes without interruption. Don’t force it. When ready, scallops will unstick from the pan on its own, as long as you properly heated the skillet and oil.