Fettucine with Bay Scallops in a Saffron Cream Sauce

Fridays in Lent can be tough for Roman Catholics, especially when you have some leftover meatloaf and osso bucco in the fridge.  Bad for me, good for Cheryl who’s one of those rebellious Protestants.  Well it’s not really that tough, but we like to try to convince everyone it’s difficult.  It usually doesn’t work though as most everyone else thinks we’re nuts to begin with.  Anyway, every year Lent rolls around and the no meat on Friday thing kicks in making pizza or the parish fish fry the normal Friday night dinners for a lot of Catholics.  Now, I’m not the best practicing Catholic out there (not the worst either!) but I still give the old Vatican try when it comes to Lenten Fridays.  I actually don’t mind because it gives me a chance to work with foods I don’t normally have in the rotation, like seafood. 

This dinner comes together very quickly once your water is boiling so I find it important to get everything prepped before starting.  The sauce is easy to make and you can whip it up in no time while the pasta is cooking, especially if you’re using dried pasta.  Using fresh pasta, I get the sauce started, then when it’s almost done drop the pasta into the water to cook.  When the pasta’s cooked the sauce is ready, and you combine the two.

I like using bay scallops in this recipe; they’re compact, sweet, and fit well with the pasta, although for your protein you can add almost anything.  In the past I’ve used shrimp and langoustines and both work really well.  I bet some diced chicken would also work.  The frozen langoustines I used to get at Trader Joe’s are good with it.  Regardless, this is a pretty delicious recipe for any night of the week.  Yup, it’s really difficult not eating meat on Friday during Lent.  Luckily I’ve got this recipe to help.  So delicious it’s almost sinful!

Fettucine with Bay Scallops in a Saffron Cream Sauce (serves four)

  • 1 recipe of pasta dough rolled out to setting 6 and cut into fettucine (or a pound of dried pasta)
  • 1 lb bay scallops
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • ¼ C dry white wine
  • salt
  • ¾ C cream
  • ¼ tsp saffron
  • parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for your pasta.  Using dried pasta? Cook now, and prepare the sauce as your pasta cooks.  Using fresh pasta? Prepare the sauce first as your pasta will cook in minutes.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat melt 2 Tbs of butter and add the shallots.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Pour in the ¼ C of wine and reduce by half.  Add the saffron, stir around, then add the scallops and sauté 3-5 minutes.

Next stir in the cream.  Increase heat to med-high and bring to simmer.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Whisk in the remaining Tbs of butter.

If using fresh pasta drop it in the boiling water and cook.  When cooked, drain and toss with cream sauce.  Garnish with some parsley and serve.



  1. Karen says:

    What a lovely sounding dish. I have bay scallops from Nantucket in my freezer that will now be put to good use.

    1. It’s soooo easy to make this sauce!

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