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5 from 1 vote

Anchovy Basil Pesto Sauce with Seared Scallops and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Angela Roberts


  • 1 pound bucatini or any pasta you like
  • salt for the pasta water
  • 1 pound scallops
  • 1/3 cup tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small can approximately 6 to 8 anchovies (packed in olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped before processing
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Pesto Sauce

  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh picked basil leaves
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon pine nuts toasted, divided


  • Make Pesto Sauce, by combining basil, garlic olive oil in food processor or magic bullet, reserving one tablespoon of toasted pine nuts for garnish. Set aside.
  • Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add ample amount of salt to pasta water.
  • Cook bucatini or spaghetti one minute less than directions to al dente. Pasta will finish cooking in sauce. While pasta is cooking, make scallops.

Sear Scallops

  • Bring scallops to near room temperature. Ice cold scallops won’t cook inside.
  • Remove muscle, a little rubbery piece on side of scallop.
  • Pat Dry. Season with salt and pepper
  • Use a pan (not non-stick) that is large enough to give each scallop plenty of room. I use all-clad 12 inch pan.
  • When scallops are crowded, they steam, instead of caramelize.
  • Add enough butter in pre-heated pan that when melted pan is covered. Add in a little bit of olive oil.
  • Add scallops to hot pan, and do not try to turn until they are brown and no longer stick, 4-6 minutes.
  • Turn and cook for a few more minutes. Immediately remove from pan.

Toast breadcrumbs either in oven until golden or in dry frying pan.

    Assemble dish

    • Cook and Drain pasta, saving a cup of pasta water. You won't use all of that, probably a few tablespoons.
    • In same frying pan heat 1/3 cup olive oil on medium heat. Add anchovies, breaking up with a wooden spoon until they are melted. Add in Pesto sauce. Add in pasta. Toss.
    • Add Scallops. Cover dish with toasted breadcrumbs and garnish with toasted pine nuts.