Scallops Fra Diavolo with Linguine

  • Rating ****

Serves 4 to 6

The scallops leave more flavorful drippings in the skillet, and these drippings can make the garlic appear straw colored before it is done cooking. Make sure that it is fragrant, looks sticky and has cooked for the full 7 to 10 minutes. One teaspoon of red pepper flakes will give the sauce a little kick, but add more to suit your taste.


  • 1 pound sea scallops, small crescent-shaped muscles removed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more, to taste), crushed
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons table salt
  • 1/4 cup cognac or brandy
  • 4 tablespoons garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press, (about 12 medium, 8 large or 5 extra-large cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces), drained
  • 1 cup medium-dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti


Bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil, covered, in a large Dutch oven or stockpot.

While the water is heating, heat a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the scallops, half of the red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add the scallops to the skillet and quickly spread in a single layer; cook, without stirring, until the bottoms of the scallops turn spotty brown, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, stir to turn the scallops and add the cognac; let stand off the heat until the cognac warms slightly, about 5 seconds, and return the pan to high heat. Wave a lit match over the skillet until the cognac ignites; shake the skillet until the flames subside. Tansfer the scallops to a medium bowl, and set aside.

Off the heat, cool the now-empty skillet 2 minutes; return to the burner and reduce the heat to low. Add

3 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic foams and is sticky and straw-colored, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining red pepper flakes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, sugar, tomatoe, and wine; increase the heat to medium-high and simmer until thickened and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Stir in the reserved scallops and accumulated juices, remaining

1 tablespoon garlic and parsley and simmer until the scallops have heated through, about

1 minute longer. Off the heat, stir in the remaining

1 tablespoon olive oil.

While the sauce simmers, add the linguine or spaghetti 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 the pasta. Transfer the drained pasta back to the 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 the pasta among warm serving bowls, top with a portion of sauce and scallops and serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.

RecID 8530

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