Linguine in Creamy Basil-Avocado Sauce with Seared Scallops Recipe

It’s easy to make an impressive restaurant-quality dinner at home that also include healthy ingredients such as avocados that are loaded with anti-inflammatory phytosterols, a wide array of carotenoids, and oleic acid, which aids in nutrient absorption. 

The creamy richness of avocados makes for a perfect pasta sauce—and spiked with lemon, the smooth sauce is a perfect complement to the sweet, meaty, seared scallops says Twin Cities chef, cookbook author and instructor Robin Asbell, who created this recipe for Real Food.

And keep in mind: When selecting avocados, look for fruit with the stem, or “button,” attached because loss of the stem allows the flesh to spoil. Check for a slight give by gently squeezing with your whole palm to avoid damaging the fruit. Many of the avocado’s healthy compounds are right next to the skin, so scoop all the way to the shell.

Linguine in Creamy Basil-Avocado Sauce with Seared Scallops 

Makes 4 servings 

1  pound sea scallops
2  teaspoons unbleached flour
pinch salt
2 ounces fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 large avocados
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon zest 
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound linguine
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved 
4 sprigs basil leaves, for garnish 

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.

2. Meanwhile, pat dry scallops and place in a large bowl. Add flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and toss to coat. Let come to room temperature.

3. Using a food processor, mince basil and garlic. Add avocados and purée, scraping down sides and repeating as necessary. Add lemon juice and sour cream, and purée to mix. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in lemon zest and 12 teaspoon salt.

4. Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and return to pot. Stir in sauce and keep warm.

5. Heat a cast iron pan or large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Drizzle in oil to coat and drop in scallops. Sear 2 minutes per side, depending on size.

6. Divide pasta evenly among 4 plates, top with tomatoes and scallops, and garnish with basil leaves before serving. 

Nutrition info (per serving): Calories 807 (208 from fat); Fat 24g (sat. 6g); Chol 38mg; Sodium 1344mg; Carb 115g; Fiber 12g; Protein 34g 

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.