Pasta e Fagiole with Extra Large Sea Scallops

Diego Isio


Paul Lorenzoni, who was a manager at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in the 1990s, gave us his mother’s recipe for this hearty soup, and we’ve been making it ever since. If you’re serving this as a first course, garnish each bowl with a single scallop. For a main course, it’s 6 scallops per serving.
A trio of menus will be served for both lunch and dinner at the Grand Central Oyster Bar, beginning at 11:30 AM, with the final reservation for dinner at 10:00 PM. For reservations call 212-490-6650, and for more information visit

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30 Min


1 Hr


Stove Top



1/4 c
olive oil
1 c
medium diced onion
2 Tbsp
minced garlic
28 oz
diced tomatoes
2 c
chicken stock
1/4 c
grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp
chopped parsley
1/4 tsp
coarse ground black pepper
1 c
canned cannellini beans with juice
1 c
tubettini pasta or elbow macaroni


1/2 c
fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp
minced shallot
1/2 tsp
minced garlic
kosher salt
coarse ground black pepper
1/2 c
olive oil


soybean oil
24 large
sea scallops

Directions Step-By-Step

To make the soup: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion is starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, Parmesan, parsley, and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours. Stir regularly.

Turn the heat back to medium-high. Add the beans and tubettini and bring to a simmer. Again, lower the heat and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir often, scraping the bottom of the pan. You can make the soup ahead. It will thicken as it sits, so add a little water when you reheat it.
To make the basil oil: Put the basil, shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Turn on the machine and add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Process until the basil is finely chopped. Transfer to a squeeze bottle or a bowl.
To make the scallops: Heat a slick of oil in two large nonstick skillets over high heat. When the skillets are hot, dust the scallops in the Wondra, pat off the excess, and divide them between the skillets. Sear them until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and sear the other side, until cooked through, about 2 1/2 minutes.

To serve, divide the soup among 4 soup dishes. Top each serving with 6 scallops and drizzle with basil.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Seafood
Main Ingredient: Seafood
Regional Style: American