Capesante alla Veneta

Scallops Cooked in the Venetian Style


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

In this recipe, fresh scallops are gently poached in their own juices with white wine, lemon juice and garlic, to make the simplest of dishes. The tender, sweet meatiness of the shellfish is beautifully offset by the other flavours. Scallops are popular in Venice and they feature in many rice and pasta dishes, or are served simply, as in this recipe. You can buy them cleaned and prepared from any good fishmonger - be sure to ask for the shells for serving the scallops. You could also serve it as an appetizer for eight people.


  • 16 scallops with their shells, cleaned and prepared (see Cook’s Tip)
  • 175 ml/6 fl oz/¾ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 25 ml/ tbsp lemon juice
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp dry white wine
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Scrub the scallop shells and put them into a low oven to warm. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, then add the chopped garlic and the parsley. Fry everything together for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the scallops (but not the corals) and lower the heat to the very lowest setting.
  3. Season, add the lemon juice and wine, then simmer very gently for 8 minutes.
  4. Add the corals and cook for 2 minutes more. The scallops should be just firm and white. Transfer the scallops back into their clean shells and serve immediately, with lemon wedges.