pasta with scallops and bacon in a white bowl

Creamy Pasta with Scallops and Bacon

Make this creamy pasta with scallops and bacon recipe for a special occasion or just because you want an easy and delicious dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!

Scallops have always felt like a fancy ingredient to me. It’s probably related to the fact that my mom loves them, and when I was growing up she would only eat them when we went out for a nice dinner at a restaurant. But scallops are not just for special occasions! They are a great source of protein and are usually very affordable.

This creamy pasta with scallops and bacon recipe can be made for your next special occasion, or when you want to make an easy meal that feels a bit more indulgent. The bacon provides smoky saltiness and the white wine and tomatoes add acidity, keeping the dish light. This recipe is minimal effort and maximum reward.

pasta with scallops and bacon in a white bowl with lemon wedges and a fork

What Are The Needed Ingredients?

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 12 oz. linguine
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (15 oz. can) diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 tomato, diced)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. scallops
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
scallops sauteeing in a pan

Easy To Follow Instructions

  • Over high heat, bring a large pot of (salted) water to a boil.
  • While water comes to a boil, fry the bacon over medium-low heat in a large skillet, turning occasionally, until cooked to your liking (I prefer crispy bacon). Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, but leave bacon fat in the pan.
  • Add onion to pan with bacon fat, and cook over medium-low heat until translucent, around 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Pour in white wine and cook until liquid has reduced by half, around 3-4 minutes.
  • When water has come to a boil, add linguine and cook for one minute less than the package suggests. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining. Drain pasta and set aside.
  • Reduce skillet heat to low and add heavy cream and pasta water to onion mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes, until sauce thickens. Add butter and stir until melted and incorporated. Add cooked pasta, bacon, and tomatoes, and stir to combine.
  • Pat scallops dry with a paper towel (this will ensure a nice crust on the scallops). Season with salt and pepper. Add oil to a medium-sized skillet and heat over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Place scallops in pan, spaced out evenly. Sear for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Distribute pasta evenly over 4 plates and place scallops on top (divided evenly as well). Sprinkle fresh lemon juice over pasta and garnish with fresh parsley.
pasta with tomatoes and onion cooking in a pan

Helpful Recipe Notes

The key to getting a beautiful golden crust on your scallops:

  • Pat dry with a paper towel before cooking
  • Sear over high heat
  • Don’t touch scallops while cooking until you are ready to flip them over

If you don’t have heavy cream on hand, you can substitute (whole) milk. However, because milk has more water than cream, you won’t need as much pasta water to thin out the sauce. Just add water 1 tbsp. at a time to get your desired consistency.

You can use large scallops or smaller bay scallops in this recipe. Either size works just fine!

If you don’t eat bacon, you can leave it out, but I would recommend adding more salt to the dish, as bacon provides saltiness.

Store leftover pasta (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I would not recommend freezing this dish, but you shouldn’t need to, because it’s so delicious!

fork lifting up pasta with scallops and bacon out of a white bowl

Enjoy your week, and feel free to drop me a line in the comments – I would love to hear if you try this recipe! Or tag me on Instagram @maryannehoekstra to let me know how it turned out! Also, if you are enjoying my blog, please consider recommending it to your friends. They can subscribe here.

More Pasta Recipes That You Will Love!

Pasta with Scallops and Bacon

Make this creamy scallop dish for a special occasion or just because you want an easy and delicious dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 12 oz. linguine
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (15 oz. can) diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 tomato, diced)
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. scallops
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Over high heat, bring a large pot of (salted) water to a boil.
  • While water comes to a boil, fry the bacon over medium-low heat in a large skillet, turning occasionally, until cooked to your liking (I prefer crispy bacon). Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, but leave bacon fat in the pan.
  • Add onion to pan with bacon fat, and cook over medium-low heat until translucent, around 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Pour in white wine and cook until liquid has reduced by half, around 3-4 minutes.
  • When water has come to a boil, add linguine and cook for one minute less than the package suggests. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining. Drain pasta and set aside.
  • Reduce skillet heat to low and add heavy cream and pasta water to onion mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes, until sauce thickens. Add butter and stir until melted and incorporated. Add cooked pasta, bacon, and tomatoes, and stir to combine.
  • Pat scallops dry with a paper towel (this will ensure a nice crust on the scallops). Season with salt and pepper. Add oil to a medium-sized skillet and heat over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Place scallops in pan, spaced out evenly. Sear for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Distribute pasta evenly over 4 plates and place scallops on top (divided evenly as well). Sprinkle fresh lemon juice over pasta and garnish with fresh parsley.
Keyword bacon, diced tomatoes, garlic, heavy cream, linguine, pasta, scallops

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