Scallop Fra Diavolo And Linguine


Fra Diavolo Pasta:

¼ cup olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 teaspoons red chili flakes , use less for a milder sauce

¼ teaspoon sea salt

4 garlic cloves, diced

2 pounds fresh tomatoes (diced) or 28oz can diced or crushed tomatoes

1 cup water

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ pound linguine , use gluten-free spaghetti if needed


7 ounces sea scallops (3-5 per person, depending on the size of scallops) dry-packed, no chemical additives* (See Recipe Notes)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)

fresh basil, torn (optional garnish)


Fra Diavolo Sauce:

Step 1:

Add the oil, onions, chili flakes and salt to a large, shallow pan. (Use a 12″ pan or larger, see recipe notes.) Cook the onions over medium heat until they begin to brown (~5 min).

Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute, or until the garlic is fragrant.

Step 2:

Add the tomatoes, water, and oregano to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.

Step 3:

Simmer the tomatoes for 20-25 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.

Taste the sauce and add more chili flakes, salt, or oregano if desired. Simmer 1-2 more minutes if you added more seasoning.

Step 4:

While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook liniguine according to package directions.

Add the cooked liniguine to the pasta sauce and toss to coat.

Sear Scallops:

Step 5:

Heat butter and oil in a heavy-bottom pan on high heat and allow to melt, but not brown. If butter starts to brown or smoke, lower heat slightly.

Pat scallops dry (they won’t sear properly if they’re still damp). Toss with a little salt, garlic powder, and cayenne (if using).

Add scallops to the pan, and let them sit on one side for 2 minutes per side, until each side is golden brown.

Step 6:

Divide pasta between two plates, and then divide the scallops between the dishes (3-5 per plate). Garnish with fresh basil if desired. Serve immediately.


Serves: This serves two people generously. For more modest portions, store half the pasta sauce for later and use ¼ lb. linguine.

Pan Size: Some readers have reported that their 12″ pans were too small for the volume of sauce. You may find a heavy Dutch oven works best for you, although I’ve always had success with my 12″ carbon steel pan.

Prepare Ahead: The sauce can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for 4-6 days, or frozen and used within a year.

Sea Scallops: Look for “dry-packed” or “chemical-free” scallops. Some scallops contain added plumping agents, and these scallops won’t sear well.

Smoother Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes are peeled, and will yield a smoother sauce with less texture. If you’re using fresh tomatoes and want an extra-smooth marinara, you have two options:

1. Peel the tomatoes first. Use a knife to mark an X on each tomato, and then blanch them in boiling water until the tomato peel loosens (~15-30 seconds). Peel, and then proceed with the recipe. Crush tomatoes with your hands instead of dicing.

2. Blend the sauce. After cooking, add the sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend the peels into the sauce.

Varieties of tomatoes: For the thickest sauce, use San Marzano tomatoes (or other varieties of Roma tomatoes). However, this recipe works well with juicy tomatoes also.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 966kcal (48%) | Carbohydrates: 115g (38%) | Protein: 32g (64%) | Fat: 43g (66%) | Saturated Fat: 9g (56%) | Cholesterol: 39mg (13%) | Sodium: 1094mg (48%) | Potassium: 1693mg (48%) | Fiber: 11g (46%) | Sugar: 18g (20%) | Vitamin A: 4653IU (93%) | Vitamin C: 68mg (82%) | Calcium: 113mg (11%) | Iron: 4mg (22%)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones for the Fra Diavolo sauce?

Yes, you can use either fresh diced tomatoes or canned diced or crushed tomatoes.

If using canned, ensure they’re of good quality without added seasonings or preservatives.

How spicy is the Fra Diavolo sauce?

The spiciness of the sauce depends on the amount of red chili flakes used.

Adjust the quantity according to your preference for heat.

Start with less for a milder sauce and add more for extra spice.

Can I use other types of pasta instead of linguine?

Yes, you can use other types of pasta like spaghetti, fettuccine, or even penne for this recipe.

Adjust the cooking time according to the type of pasta used.

Do I need to rinse the scallops before cooking?

It’s recommended to pat the scallops dry with paper towels before cooking to remove any excess moisture.

This helps achieve a better sear and prevents the scallops from becoming watery.

What size pan should I use for making the Fra Diavolo sauce?

Use a large, shallow pan, preferably 12 inches or larger, to ensure there’s enough surface area for the sauce to simmer and reduce properly.

A wide skillet or sauté pan works well for this.

Can I omit the cayenne powder from the scallops if I don’t want it too spicy?

Yes, you can omit the cayenne powder if you prefer a milder flavor.

Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences.

How do I know when the scallops are done cooking?

Scallops are done when they are opaque and firm to the touch.

Be careful not to overcook them, as they can become tough and rubbery.

Can I use frozen scallops for this recipe?

Fresh scallops are preferred for the best flavor and texture, but if using frozen scallops, ensure they are completely thawed and pat them dry before cooking.

Can I make the Fra Diavolo sauce ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Reheat gently on the stove before serving.

Can I use other seafood instead of scallops?

Yes, you can substitute scallops with shrimp or other seafood of your choice.

Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the type of seafood used.

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