Lemon and garlic pasta with pan-seared scallops

Serves 4


1 large lemon, grated for zest, and freshly squeezed for two tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced or pressed (two to three cloves)
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 large sea scallops (about one pound)
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces very thin spaghetti (vermicelli or angel hair)
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. In a four-quart saucepan, bring three quarts of water to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, reduce heat to simmer until you’re ready to cook the pasta.
  2. While the water is heating up, grate the skin of the lemon into a small saucepan. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pan, removing any seeds. Use the back of a large spoon to press the inside of the lemon to extract any remaining juice. Add the garlic and one tablespoon of olive oil to the saucepan. Stir to blend well. Place on stovetop on low heat.
  3. Heat a large nonstick pan or grill pan on high temperature until very hot. Sprinkle the scallops with salt, pepper and one tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat well.
  4. Place the scallops in the hot pan. Cook about four minutes on each side, or until scallops are well browned, firm and milky white to the center (to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F).
  5. After turning the scallops to the second side, drop the pasta into the boiling water. Set temperature on medium, and cook for the shortest recommended time according to package directions.
  6. When the pasta is done, set aside a half-cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta. Return drained pasta to the pot, and toss with the warm olive oil mixture and the half-cup of reserved pasta water.
  7. Divide the pasta equally among four plates (about one cup per plate). Top each with four scallops.
  8. Garnish each dish with a half-tablespoon of shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information

Per one cup of pasta and four scallops: 376 calories, 28 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 7 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g fiber, 429 mg sodium, 48 mg cholesterol, 426 mg potassium

Courtesy of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s “Keep the Beat” recipes