Lemon & sage butter pasta with seared scallops

If I wasn’t such a pig, I’d say this is the perfect date night meal. It’s elegant and fresh, rich but still light. The plump scallops add a decadent touch to an already incredible dish. But the truth is, this tastes so good I’m usually too busy scoffing it down to pay much attention to romance. In case you’re wondering, Mangy is no better.

It’s a really easy dish to put together, but it tastes incredible and the house smells fantastic with all that sage-y goodness. I used home-made fresh pasta, but you could just as easily use dried spaghetti. You could swap the scallops for prawns or just skip it entirely to serve is as a vegetarian meal. 

You’ll need:

  • 6 scallops (make sure to pat them very very dry)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • 2 shallots (finely chopped or 1 tablespoon caramelised onions)
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup pasta cooking water
  • black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan


Cook pasta as per instructions on packet. Just before al dente, remove pasta and drain. Be sure to save some of the pasta cooking water.

Heat a pan until smoking hot. Add olive oil and allow to heat up for a minute. Place scallops in a single area towards the edge of the pan (this is usually cooler then the centre and will allow the scallops to sear nicely and have enough time to cook through). After about 3 minutes, flip the scallops, this time arranging them towards the centre of the pan. Once seared on both sides, remove scallops and set aside. Switch off flame.

In the still hot pan, add butter, sage leaves, garlic, onion or shallot. lemon zest, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and white wine. Stir well. Place back on heat on low flame. Allow to simmer and for the alcohol to cook off. Keep stirring. Add the pasta cooking water and the pasta and stir well. Allow to cook until the pasta absorbs most of the sauce and also becomes al dente. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve in a lovely bowl with scallops on top. Add freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy

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