Scallops with Tomato, Garlic, and Rosemary

Cappe Sante con Pomodoro, Aglio e Rosmarino

Rosemary has a sultry scent which, on scallops and fish, I like to quicken through the intervention of something acidulous. In an earlier version it was lemon, but here I have chosen the milder tartness of tomatoes.

In its rather liberal use of rosemary, the recipe is an exception to the restraint that most Italian cooks exercise when working with fragrant ingredients, but here the taste impressions rely heavily on the herb’s contribution and you don’t want to be too tightfisted with it.


  • 2 pounds fresh scallops
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • cup cut-up canned Italian plum tomatoes with their juice or fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut up
  • Chopped fresh or dried chili pepper, to taste
  • Salt


  1. With a sharp paring knife, cut away the tough, white strip of connective tissue you’ll find on most scallops. Wash the scallops in cold water and pat thoroughly dry with a kitchen towel.
  2. Choose a skillet large enough to contain all the scallops without overlapping, put in the oil and garlic, and turn on the heat to medium high. Sauté the garlic, stirring it once or twice, until it becomes colored a pale gold; then add the chopped rosemary, stir just once or twice, and add the cut-up tomatoes and the chili pepper, turning the heat down to medium.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the until the fat begins to separate from the sauce, as described in the Note, about 15 or 20 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat up to high and put in all the scallops. In 1 or 2 minutes, when the scallops will have shed some watery liquid, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and continue cooking at high heat to evaporate that liquid. When the pan juices are no longer watery, return the scallops to the pan, add salt, and cook for another minute.