Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Carbonara with Seared Scallops

Just in time for Valentine's Day! Make this restaurant quality dish at home in minutes (and a whole lot cheaper!).

Let's be real. There are few things less drool worthy than a big bowl of pasta carbonara. Pasta is tossed with copious amounts of crispy bacon bits and coated in a sinful cream sauce. Since my husband believes meat is a must, I paired mine with seared scallops - making it the ultimate weeknight splurge!

Man, I love scallops. And pasta. And cream. And cheese.

This would be an easy (and impressive!) Valentine's Day dinner to whip up this weekend. Or just a "I barely survived the workday and need a bowl of pasta" dinner. Not that I ever have those nights.

I use a pound of bacon because, well, bacon, but feel free to cut back if you're not as fanatical about it as I evidently am. 

Carbonara with Seared Scallops
1 lb spaghetti
1 lb thick cut bacon, diced into small pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb sea scallops, beard removed and patted very dry
1 tablespoon butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, reserving a cup of pasta water, and return the pasta to the pot. Put the lid back on to help keep it warm.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan or cast iron skillet, fry the bacon pieces until crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and return to the stove.

Add the vegetable oil to the pan and bring to a high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of each scallop. Once the oil is shimmering, add the scallops to the pan, making sure they are not touching. Let cook for 2 minutes or until there is a nice deep sear on one side. Carefully flip and add the butter to the pan. Cook another 90 seconds or so, spooning the melted butter over top of each scallop to help them finish cooking.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan, cream, and lots of salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle the mixture into the pot of hot drained pasta, mixing well with tongs. Add the crispy bacon, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add small amounts of the reserved pasta water, if needed, to thin it out.

Top each serving with 3-4 scallops nestled on top. Serve immediately.


  1. Oohh, this is definitely a dish to impress someone special! I've never actually cooked scallops before (I only just this year really started eating seafood!) but that's something I think I need to change!

    1. I was scared of scallops at first because they are $$ and I hate ruining pricey food! Thankfully, they are a piece of cake - promise!


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