Linguine with Scallops and Parsley Pesto

In the north of Italy, on the Adriatic coast, you’ll find lots of dishes that feature scallops. I particularly like this pasta recipe because it’s so quick and I love the delicate flavours and textures. If you’re not a fan of scallops use peeled prawns instead. Please do not be tempted to sprinkle Parmesan or other cheese on top as it will overwhelm the favour of the scallops.

SERVES 4. This delicious and versatile dish is so easy to make. Enjoy it as a meal on its own, or as a starter for a special occasion. Recipe from Gino’s Hidden Italy by Gino D’Acampo, published by Hodder & Stoughton. Photograph © Matt Russell



  •  2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 250g small scallops, trimmed
  • Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 500g dried linguine
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the pesto

  • 60g fresh fat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 130ml extra virgin olive oil
  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the scallops and fry for 1 minute each side or until golden.
  2. To make the pesto, place the parsley, pine nuts, capers and garlic in a food processor and blitz until smooth. With the blades turning, add the oil gradually in a thin, steady stream until the sauce thickens and emulsifies.
  3. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl. Carefully stir in the scallops and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Cook the linguine in a large pan of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta thoroughly and tip it into the bowl with the scallops and pesto. Gently stir for 30 seconds to combine. Serve immediately.
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