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Best Italian Chef Finalist: Orecchiette with Scallops and Leeks

by Isabel M. - Poughkeepsie, NY | Written on February 17, 2014

Subtle flavors come together to create a rich luxurious pasta dish. With simple preparation, you can feel special while dining on this creamy, flavorful scallop and pasta creation.

Best Italian Chef Orrechiete

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I love to entertain and have dinner parties often. One evening, we had friends coming over and I almost forgot! So I made a challenge: to come up with a dish using ingredients I already had on hand. I didn’t want to go to the store. Luckily, I am a freezer full kind of girl! That’s how Orecchiette with Scallops and Leeks was born.

Drizzle Olive Oil
1 Leek, cleaned & sliced
2 Cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 Cup white wine
1 /2 Cup chicken broth
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Pound Orecchiette
1 Pound Sea Scallops

Cook pasta al dente. In a sauté pan, drizzle olive oil and sauté leeks for a couple of minutes, add garlic, red pepper, salt, pepper, wine, broth and cream. Simmer to thicken. Salt and pepper scallops and sear in hot pan with oil. Mix pasta and sauce, place in dish, top with scallops.

Reserve your table now to try Isabel’s Scallop Orecchiette. We invite you to the warm atmosphere at Maggiano’s Little Italy for your next meal or special occasion. We also invite you to join our E-club, follow us on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest, and watch us on YouTube for more chef tips, recipes and ideas.

  • Anonymous

    I think I will try and make this at home! The one though it says Sea Scallops. Those are large scallops. They look more like bay scallops which are smaller. Also trying to locate Orecchiette in the grocery stores may be difficult. I have other recipes that call for that pasta and have been unable to locate it.

  • mary

    how I would love to taste those scallops !!! but here I am in Wisconsin.

  • Kathy

    Barilla makes them. Maybe your grocer could order them.

  • Judy

    Looks and sounds scrumtious, but alas but the calorie count has to be be way over the top!

  • baciodellaverità

    I see grated cheese in the photo, but it is not in the recipe. I am liking that the recipe has NO CHEESE. Fish and cheese together is disgusting, and very un-Italian. Please tell your food stylist. Thanks.

  • lycos

    Is there a print option? I did a “print all” & wasted 7 pages for one recipe.

  • Anonymous

    If you count it as 4 servings, it’s 660 calories. 6 servings, 440. Not too bad.

  • Diane

    Sign up on your computer for ZipList Recipe Clipper. It can copy any recipe from any site. Check it out. I love it. I can refer back to any ideas or recipes I’ve seen and have then on file for future dinner party planning. It’s easier than Pinterest for quick look up.

  • Chitown Home Cook

    I’m quite sure that you can find some frozen scallops somewhere up there! Any scallop would do–the bay or the sea–whatever you find will work, I am sure.

  • Chitown Home Cook

    Often in recipes, you can substitute with something less fattening–I know I will do so in this case also. You can try evaporated milk, either whole, 2%, or skim. I know I have used each of these in some of my recipes, and they always turn out terrific, and no real difference in taste or texture, regardless of which I use. I would never use heavy cream myself, as I’m a weight watcher.

  • Chitown Home Cook

    Orecchiette are cute little pastas, “little ears”, which add a bit of interest, but really taste no different from most any other pasta. Just use another pasta! Small shells should be fine, as would a small penne-type pasta.

  • Molly

    Lactose intolerant? substitute Plain Soy or Almond Milk so that you can also enjoy the “creamy” recipes. Seafood pastas are also very tasty with a “light” tomato sauce, more of an olive oil base with just a touch of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes with the juices included. My Mom made what I consider the ulimate seafood sauce for pasta … the light tomato sauce with lump crab meat … when you add the crab in the last hour of making your own sauce, at a low simmer, the lumps of crab become infused with the sauce… superbly succulent.

  • Anonymous

    You can copy and paste the recipe only onto a new document in Word. And then print it.

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