Scallops Fra Diavolo with Linguine

  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 60m

This recipe was from America’s Test Kitchen magazine, and was super good. I made it earlier this week and would definitely serve it to important guests at my home. My fiancee loved it. – Malan


  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons table salt
  • 1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic (about 12 medium or 8 large cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes , drained (I recommend using petite diced, normal diced were quite large)
  • 1 cup medium-dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti (I used angel hair instead, I love angel hair pasta with scallops)


Step 1

Bring water for the pasta to a rolling boil

Step 2

While water is heating, heat 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet (non teflon) over high heat for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, toss scallops, half of red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Add scallops to skillet and quickly spread in single layer; cook, without stirring, until bottoms of scallops turn spotty brown, about 30 seconds. (I found that doing this, the scallops instantly stuck to the pan. Don't worry about it, the idea is not to keep the scallops intact and whole, you can scrape them off to turn them later)

Step 3

Off heat, stir to turn scallops, and add cognac; let stand off heat until cognac warms slightly, about 5 seconds, and return pan to high heat. Wave lit match over skillet until cognac ignites; shake skillet until flames subside, transfer scallops to medium bowl, and set aside. (The cognac burned amazingly high, be careful or you'll get burned. Recommend you have a window open and your stove fan turned on High, it will produce quite a bit of steam/smoke)

Step 4

Off heat, cool now-empty skillet 2 minutes; return to burner and reduce heat to low. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until garlic foams and is sticky and straw-colored, 7 to 10 minutes. Add remaining red pepper flakes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, sugar, tomatoes, and wine; increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until thickened and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the scallops and accumulated juices that you removed earlier, remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, and parsley and simmer until scallops have heated through, about 1 minute longer. When done and off heat, stir in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Step 5

While sauce simmers, add the pasta and remaining 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water, stir to separate pasta, cover, and cook until al dente; reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta. Transfer drained pasta back to now-empty Dutch oven or stockpot; add about 1/2 cup sauce (without scallops) and 2 to 3 tablespoons reserved pasta cooking water; toss to coat. Divide pasta among serving bowls, top with a portion of sauce and scallops. I found that with a pound of pasta there was nowhere near enough sauce left over. I'd recommend halving or using only 3/4 the pasta, otherwise you'd end up needing a double portion of sauce/scallops. We tried to keep the scallops intact but later realized that you may as well stir/scrape them off the pan vigorously during the flambe as they actually work better in smaller chunks.

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