Venetian Scallops

Capesante alla Veneziana

In Italy the scallop enjoys several different names: it is known as ventaglio, pettine maggiore or conchiglia del pellegrino. In this recipe from Venice scallops are cooked very simply with garlic, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. You can serve this either as a starter or as a main course.


  • 12–14 large scallops, opened by your fishmonger
  • 1 wine glass best-quality olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon, strained


Remove the molluscs from their shells and clean them carefully, discarding the yellow outer skirt but not the orange corals. Put them into a heavy-bottomed pan with the oil, garlic and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook slowly for 5–6 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and return the scallops to their shells before serving.