Inspired by Italy: Scallop, Fennel and Bacon Linguine

>> Saturday, 2 October 2010

Here is the main course from this week's ‘Monday Menu’; Scallop, Fennel and Bacon Linguine.

This originally began life as a starter, where I served it without the linguine. With the addition of wine and a little extra mascarpone though, it creates a lovely sauce destined to coat lengths of pasta. That said, if you like the flavours, I can recommend serving as a starter with slices of toasted ciabatta drizzled with your best oil.

You can use streaky bacon or pancetta in the recipe, I've gone with pancetta to stay with the Italian theme, but if you prefer bacon, it's just as nice!

One thing worth noting though before you approach with gusto….This all comes together very quickly at the end and there is a risk of overcooking or ingredients getting cold if you don’t apply a little bit of organisation! I recommend pre-reading the steps so you’re ready for action and then it should be easy.

Enjoy cooking,
Helen x

Scallop, Fennel and Bacon Linguine


  • 2 fennel bulbs (sliced and trimmed)
  • 130g mascarpone
  • 150ml white wine
  • 16 fresh scallops
  • 75g streaky bacon (or pancetta)
  • 500g fresh linguine
  • 1 lemon
Step 1: Boil the fennel slices in water for 3 mins and drain

Step 2: Place fennel slices in shallow dish, dot with mascarpone, pour over wine and season. Place under a grill until golden and bubbling (5 mins)


Step 3: At the same time, fry the bacon/pancetta until crispy

Step 4: Add the linguine to a pan of salted, boiling water (follow pack instructions for cooking time) and remove and drain when cooked

Step 5: Add the scallops to the same pan and fry in the bacon/pancetta fat (add olive oil if needed). Fry scallops until golden (3 mins on each side at a medium high temperature should be sufficient).

Step 6: Plate up. Scoop pasta onto serving dish and top with fennel and the wine/mascarpone sauce. Place over the top a few slices of bacon/pancetta and 4 scallops per person. Squeeze over lemon and season to taste

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