This Bacon Wrapped Scallops Pasta is one incredibly delicious and healthy seafood pasta recipe. The creamy cauliflower sauce tastes like Carbonara - no one will know they are eating vegetables.
This post is sponsored by Marina Del Rey whose Icelandic Wild Caught Scallops are the star of this dish.
Do you ever have a meal at a restaurant that is so good you just HAVE to find a way to recreate it at home? This is what happened to me and this seafood pasta recipe!
Way back in the day before I became a mom I used to be a server at an Italian restaurant. While the menu always included some of the classics, there also were some special features that changed seasonally.
One season there was this amazing seafood carbonara pasta. There were scallops and bacon stirred in with the noodles but the highlight definitely were the bacon wrapped scallops on top.
It has been a few years since I last had this scallops and pasta dish but it is still very clear in my mind and on my palate. So when Marina del Rey asked me to create a recipe with their amazing wild caught Icelandic scallops I right away knew I had to make this scallop bacon pasta.
If you have been following along on Leelalicious for a bit, you'll know that I am all about making healthier but just as delicious alternatives. And even if you didn't, now you do know.
Healthier cream sauce for scallops
To make this veggie Alfredo sauce steamed cauliflower is blended up with caramelized onion, garlic and broth. For even more creaminess there is a little milk and Parmesan cheese - but these can totally be substituted with a milk alternative and nutritional yeast if you need the sauce to be dairy-free.
If you don't like crispy bits in your pasta or have fussy little eaters to feed, then add the bacon bits into the blender as well. This way you still get the awesome smoky bacon flavor in the sauce without anyone picking out the pieces.
Otherwise, you can just stir in the crispy bacon when combining the pasta and sauce before adding the scallops wrapped in bacon on top.
You could even make the cauliflower Alfredo ahead, if you don't want to stress too much with getting all components ready at the same time.
How to cook bacon wrapped scallops
Cooking scallops is really quite easy - this way at least. Start with only the best scallops which you can be sure of when choosing Marina Del Rey.
All of their seafood is pure and sustainably wild caught by responsible fisheries. You risk none of the additives of hormones, antibiotics, or chemicals that are unfortunately prevalent in farmed seafood.
Marina Del Rey scallops are frozen while they are super fresh (did you know that often frozen seafood actually is fresher than 'fresh' seafood?). Just thaw them, give them a quick rinse and pat dry.
Wrap each of the scallops with bacon - about ⅓ to ½ slice. Secure with a skewer and place on a baking sheet. Yes, these are actually baked scallops!
Baking them takes about 25-30 minutes - just flip them once about 15 minutes in. Otherwise this bacon wrapped scallops recipe is completely hand-off.
Which means you can focus on getting the creamy cauliflower sauce ready and the Fettuccine pasta cooked. For more nutritional value I recommend using whole wheat or a gluten free pasta according to your dietary requirements.
Once the bacon scallops are done, so should be the pasta and sauce. If you made the sauce ahead, just reheat it in a pan and gently stir the pasta in to coat every single noodle strand with sauce.
Then plate the saucy pasta and add the scallop skewers on top. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and bacon bits (unless they are already in the sauce).
Video: How to make bacon wrapped scallops pasta
Bacon Wrapped Scallops Pasta
- 1 bag 300 g/10.67 oz Marina Del Rey Icelandic Wild Caught Scallops, thawed
- 1 lb / 450 g bacon divided
- ½ lb / 230 g cauliflower florets steamed
- ½ large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- ⅓ cup / 80 ml milk or dairy-free alternative
- ¼ cup / 60 ml broth
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast, more for topping
- ¼ teaspoon / 2 g sea salt
- ½ pound / 230 g Fettuccine pasta whole grain or gluten-free, cooked al dente
- ¼ cup / 60 ml sliced green onion
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. Rinse the scallops under cold water and pat dry.
- Cut the bacon strips in half and wrap around each scallop. Secure the bacon with a skewer. Arrange about 2-3 bacon-wrapped scallops per skewer.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the skewers and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until bacon has reached desired crispiness.
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce:
- Steam cauliflower florets until softened (but still with a little bite). Set aside to cool.
- Dice the remaining bacon and cook in a pan until crispy. Transfer bacon pieces to paper towel and set aside.
- Leave about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook on low heat until caramelized/lightly browned.
- Add the steamed cauliflower, onion and garlic to a blender together with milk, broth, Parmesan (nutritional yeast), and salt. You can add the crispy bacon pieces now or stir in later. Blend until smooth and add more liquid (milk, broth or water) as needed to create a creamy texture.
- Cook Fettuccine to directions until al dente.
- Warm the creamy cauliflower sauce in a large skillet or pot until heated through. Stir in the cooked pasta, green onion and cooked bacon pieces (unless previously blended into sauce).
- Plate the pasta and top each serving with bacon-wrapped scallop skewers (6 per serving). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (nutritional yeast) and a few more sliced green onions.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Marina Del Rey. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Leelalicious possible. This post also includes affiliate links.
Bacon-wrapped scallops are commonly known as "Angels on Horseback."
Soaking scallops in a brine solution for about 15 minutes can help to remove excess moisture and improve their texture when cooked.
Salting scallops before cooking helps enhance their natural flavor and promotes a better sear and caramelization on the outside.
Both butter and oil work well for cooking scallops. Butter can add richness, while oil can handle higher heat. Choose based on your preference and desired flavor profile.