Pan Seared Scallops in Saffron Wine Sauce

(4 servings)

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This saffron sauce is just a delight. Very unlike traditional Italian pasta sauces, this sauce does not have a tomato base and I would recommend pairing with seafood like lobster, clams, shrimp or in this recipe scallops and pasta. It is a quick & easy recipe and the saffron imparts a beautiful sweet aroma to the sauce and keeps it light. Saffron is very expensive but even a small pinch of the strands for this sauce will give a glorious color.


For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup dry white cooking wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For the scallops:

  • 12 fresh large scallops
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoon butter

For the garnish:

  • Edible flowers or microgreens


Wash and pat dry the scallops. Marinate with salt and pepper and set aside.


In a cooking vessel, heat the olive oil on medium heat and add the onion and garlic, and sautee for about 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Add the white wine and deglaze. Add in the saffron strands and the paprika and stir. Now add the cream and turn heat to low. Add salt and pepper to taste & simmer for about 5 minutes. The color should be a beautiful golden yellow.


While the sauce is simmering heat butter in a frying pan and fry the scallops on medium heat (about 60 seconds on each side).

Serve scallops with the sauce (I strained it to have a clear smooth sauce but you could serve with the shallots as well)  & squid ink cappellini or a pasta of your choice and garnish with the edible flowers!

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