Tagliatelle with scallops and parsley lemon butter

This simple, exquisite tagliatelle recipe combines tender scallops with fresh parsley, tangy lemon and rich butter to create a perfect spring pasta

  • 20 mins preparation
  • Serves 4
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  • 250 gram tagliatelle or similar thin ribboned pasta
  • 400 gram trimmed scallop meat (about 6 scallops per person, depending on size)
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water


  • 1
    Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook pasta according to the packet directions – you will need to reserve around ½ cup of the starchy pasta cooking water, so scoop some out and reserve it before draining pasta.
  • 2
    While pasta is cooking, pat scallops dry with kitchen towel and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • 3
    Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter in a heavy-based frying pan. When the butter is sizzling, place the scallops around the edge of the pan in a circle, like a clockface, starting at ‘12 o’clock’ and working clockwise.
  • 4
    Time them for 1 minute then, starting at ‘12’, quickly flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds. This way, you know which went in first and can avoid overcooking them. They should be lightly golden and opaque. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • 5
    Add garlic to pan and sizzle for a minute then pour in the wine and simmer until reduced.
  • 6
    Having reserved the ½ cup cooking water, drain pasta and return to it to the pot. Scrape the contents of the frying pan into the pasta with a splash of the reserved cooking water, the remaining butter, parsley and the lemon zest and juice. Add the cooked scallops and toss lightly. Adjust seasoning, adding more parsley or lemon according to your taste.

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