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Fettuccine with Scallops and Lime {Recipe}

Fettuccine with Scallops and Lime recipe from Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes cookbook

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Fettuccine with Scallops and Lime


Author Cat Cora:

Although my kids love this [fettuccine with scallops and lime], I still think of it as a more refined, grown-up pasta dish. The spice rub for the scallops adds a depth of flavor that carries the sauce to another level, and the avocado adds its own buttery richness to the mix while complementing the scallops beautifully. The sauce comes together better if you take the butter from the fridge at the very last second so it remains cold.

Cooks&Books&Recipes {Dee}:

THE RECIPE. Anyone can make this fettuccine with scallops and lime recipe, and by doing so, you’ll look like a true cook. I love scallops and order them often at restaurants, but for some reason, I’ve cooked scallops very few times that I can remember. I think I’ve been worried they wouldn’t be tender enough. If that’s you too, you have no worries with this dish. Cat Cora even reveals the secret for preparing the sauce flawlessly: keeping the butter cold.

THE RESULT. I would never have thought of combining avocado, cumin, paprika, lime, and cilantro with scallops, but then that’s why I’m not a chef. Did we also go for the “twist” and add the tequila? Why of course. The slightly sweet scallops were accented beautifully with the smooth coolness of the avocado, the hot spiciness of the paprika and red pepper, the smokiness of the cumin, the sour bite of the lime, and the buttery sauce, all set on edge by the tequila. Perfect. (I adore cilantro. The husband despises cilantro. I added it on my plate at the end. He so missed out.) All in all, this fettuccine with scallops and lime was a successful dish.

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Fettuccine with Scallops and Lime

Featured Recipe From: Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes

Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 16 medium scallops, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fish stock or Rich Chicken Stock (page 202) or store-bought low-sodium stock
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced


Fill a large pot with water, add the salt, and bring to a boil.

In a large bowl, toss the scallops with the cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes. When the water boils, stir in the fettuccine and cook until it's al dente, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until it begins to shimmer but not smoke. Add the scallops and cook, turning with tongs, until almost cooked through, about 1 minute per side. With a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

Pour the stock into the pan and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. When the pasta is al dente, 9 to 11 minutes, drain it, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

Add the red pepper flakes, lime zest, and half of the butter to the stock, whisking until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the remaining butter and whisk until the sauce has thickened. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss; add the cilantro and toss again. If the mixture isn't saucy enough, add some of the reserved pasta water. Divide the pasta among the serving bowls. Distribute the scallops and diced avocado evenly among the bowls, garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve immediately.


Tequila twist:After you've cooked the scallops on both sides, pour in ½ cup tequila (stand back!) and flambe. With a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to a platter, pour the stock into the pan, and proceed as directed.

© 2010 Cat Cora

Reprinted with permission from Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes, by Cat Cora, with Ann Krueger Spivack (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

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