Capellini with Nantucket Bay Scallops

November  5, 2009
5 Stars
Author Notes

November is the season for Nantucket Bay Scallops. These sweet little gems are about midway between a regular bay scallop and a sea scallop in size, and they’re perfect for simple, clean-flavored preparations like this pasta dish. My ex-husband used to make something similar (a recipe he ganked from some food magazine I’ve long forgotten), and I have updated it over the years by adding two of my favorite flavor boosters – chile flakes and fresh lemon zest. This dish is bright and tasty, comes together in literally minutes, and allows the delicious flavor of the scallops to shine. —lastnightsdinner

  • Serves 2-4
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt?
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or white vermouth
  • Red chile flakes to taste?
  • 1/2 pound Nantucket Bay scallops (or sea scallops, halved or quartered if large)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 pound cappellini (angel hair) pasta
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
In This Recipe
  1. Get a large pot of salted water boiling for the pasta.
  2. Add the cappellini to the boiling pasta water and cook about 3 minutes, just until al dente. Remove the pasta from the water and place into a warmed serving bowl, adding a ladle or two of the starchy water to keep it moist.
  3. While the pasta cooks, warm the olive oil in a wide skillet and add the garlic cloves and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to turn golden.
  4. Add the wine and chile flakes and let cook for a moment before adding the scallops. Season the scallops with a bit more salt and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the scallops are just cooked through.
  5. Stir the 1/4 cup of parsley and the lemon juice into the scallops and remove them from the heat. Pour the scallops and sauce over the cooked pasta and toss gently.
  6. Divide between warmed bowls or plates and top each serving with additional chopped parsley, the grated lemon zest, and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • Tbird
  • hardlikearmour
  • Oui, Chef
    Oui, Chef
  • WinnieAb

15 Reviews

Jane November 2, 2021
This may be my favorite recipe ever. It was wonderful, and so easy.
FrugalCat November 29, 2017
Made this with shell pasta. (Barilla makes both a whole wheat and a white fiber version; I am trying not to eat plain pasta) I hate twirling pasta noodles so I always go for a short shape. The sauce got cupped in the shells and it was very good. Easy too.
Tbird August 17, 2014
Made this got dinner tonight. I added in a pint of cherry tomatoes (cut in half). Added sweetness and color.
Yummy dish. My whole family loved it.
hardlikearmour January 22, 2011
This looks perfect!
Oui, C. April 13, 2010
There are few things on this Earth tastier than Nantucket Bay Scallops. I love how this simple preparation just lets them shine.
Author Comment
lastnightsdinner April 14, 2010
Thanks so much!
WinnieAb April 13, 2010
Looks fantastic!
Author Comment
lastnightsdinner April 13, 2010
Thanks, Winnie!
Lizthechef April 13, 2010
Recipe looks terrific - how about panko for the b'crumbs?
Author Comment
lastnightsdinner April 13, 2010
Thanks! I hadn't thought of using panko - I've always done this dish with fine, dry breadcrumbs (one of the only times I use them). If you try it, let me know how it turns out!
Loves F. January 27, 2010
I'm going to make this for dinner tonight! Was looking for something new and simple to make tonight, and I happen to have everything for this (substituting whole wheat spaghetti for the pasta).
Author Comment
lastnightsdinner November 6, 2009
Thanks, ladies! I love the crunch of the breadcrumbs and how it contrasts with the tender scallops. And I think the chile flakes make the scallops taste even sweeter. I hope you guys enjoy this dish!
MrsWheelbarrow November 5, 2009
What a fun fun fun update on an old standby. Breadcrumbs? Brilliant! Chili flakes? Why didn't I think of that? Thanks, again, for a stellar recipe.
Kelsey B. November 5, 2009
I l-o-v-e scallops of every shape and size. Eating them with pasta is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them and I can't wait to try this with chili flakes instead of my usual lemon butter - fantastic recipe!!
sweet E. November 5, 2009
this is one of my favorite ways to eat scallops and I plan to try your recipe this weekend. I've never added breadcrubs or chile flakes.