Pan-Fried Scallops

with Sun-dried Tomato Risotto and Pesto



  • 8 large or 12 small scallops
  • shavings of Parmesan, to garnish


  • 125 g/4 oz sun-dried tomatoes
  • 50 g/2 oz pine nuts, roasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50 g/2 oz Parmesan
  • olive oil (see method)

Tomato Stock

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stick celery
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 leek
  • ½ head of fennel
  • 6 tomatoes (preferably tinned whole Italian plum tomatoes)
  • 150 ml/¼ pint white wine
  • 900 ml/¼ pints water


  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
  • tomato stock (see above)
  • 75 g/3 oz Arborio rice
  • about25 g/1 oz butter
  • about25 g/1 oz grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra, shaved, to serve


To make the pesto, place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a liquidizer or food processor. With the motor running, add the olive oil slowly and carefully, until it reaches the desired consistency.

To make the tomato stock, heat the oil in a pan, add all the vegetables, and cook briefly until softened but not coloured. Add the wine and water, bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain into a jug.

To make the risotto, heat the butter in a heavy-based pan, add the onion and cook until softened but not coloured. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and stir well. Add the rice and stir until well coated with the oil and transparent at the edges transparent. Gradually add the hot tomato stock in small amounts, stirring continually, and cook gently until the rice is tender. Stir in the butter and a little grated Parmesan.

Cut each scallop into 2 or 3 rounds, depending on size, but leave the roes whole. Quickly fry the rounds in a very hot pan for just a few minutes until slightly caramelized. Prick the corals and add to the pan for about 10–15 seconds, to heat through.

Serve the risotto in 4 heated deep plates, with a spoonful of pesto in the centre. Arrange the scallops in a circle around the pesto, then scatter with Parmesan shavings.