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Scallops with Cob-Smoked Bacon and Spinach Orecchiette

by in Oct 2004
Scallops with Cob-Smoked Bacon and Spinach Orecchiette
3 votes, 4.67 avg. rating (89% score)
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Total Time: 15

Yield: 6 servings

Cob-smoked bacon imparts a hearty flavor without over­powering the scallops. If you can’t find the cob-smoked variety, substitute any good wood-smoked bacon. Petite New England bay scallops are the perfect size for this dish; they’re sweeter, too. But sea scallops are always delicious.

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  • 1/2 pound cob-smoked bacon
  • 3/4 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound scallops, cleaned and patted dry
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound fresh spinach, clean, washed, dried, stems removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)


In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook bacon until done but not crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel. Pour rendered bacon fat into a cup and set aside.
Chop bacon when cool. Meanwhile, in a large pot, cook pasta according to package instructions. When done, drain and put back into the empty pot.
Add olive oil to the sauté pan and raise heat to medium high. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper; then add to the pan in batches to avoid overcrowding. Sear on one side, then the other, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Repeat with remaining scallops.
Add lemon juice to pan, stirring to release the browned bits on the bottom. Add 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat. Add garlic and shallots and sauté over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and sauté until just wilted.
Remove spinach and toss with pasta. Add bacon and scallops. Sprinkle with more bacon fat to taste. Add red-pepper flakes if you like.
Updated Tuesday, October 26th, 2004

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2 Responses to Scallops with Cob-Smoked Bacon and Spinach Orecchiette

  1. Joan Barle February 10, 2005 at 4:21 pm #

    It was loved by my family so much I made it for a party and everyone loved it also. I recently misplaced the receipt and came here to find it.

  2. Barbara Sperling November 12, 2005 at 4:14 pm #

    We love this recipe, the bacon with the scallops is always a winner, but add to that the shallots which absorb the tang of the lemon and it’s a match made in heaven. Be sure to add the red pepper flakes. I too lost the recipe and was very pleased to find it here so we can enjoy again. I made sure to print two copies so I have a back up.

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