Red Pepper Pesto Linguine with Scallops & Crispy Pancetta

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ingredients

  • 1 jar (16 oz.) Mezzetta Whole Roasted Red Peppers, drained
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ c. loosely packed fresh basil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Sherry vinegar
  • ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ c. toasted walnuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 oz. pancetta
  • ½ linguine (cooked to package directions and reserve some pasta water to thin out pesto, if needed)
  • 6 large fresh scallops, small side muscle removed from scallop
  • Vegetable or canola oil for sauté pan

preparation

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil and lay the pancetta in a single layer.  Place into heated oven and cook about 15 minutes or until crispy.  Remove from oven and place pancetta on a towel lined plate.

In a food processor, puree the red pepper, garlic, basil, vinegar, olive oil and walnuts.  Add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste and set aside.

To cook the scallops, in a large saute pan, on high heat, heat vegetable or canola oil until the pan starts to smoke. Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper.  Gently place scallops in smoking hot pan, making sure sides of scallops do not touch. Cook each side about 1 ½ minutes or until the golden crust is about ¼” up each side. 

To serve, toss pesto with hot linguini.  Add in some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce needs to be thinned out.  Place the scallops on top, and garnish with crumbled crispy pancetta.