Cacio e Pepe Pasta with Seared Clearwater Patagonian Scallops

Cacio e pepe is a classic Italian pasta dish that has gained popularity around the world for its simplicity and delightful flavors. The name itself translates to “cheese and pepper,” which are the two primary ingredients that make this dish so unique.

The origins of cacio e pepe can be traced back to the region of Lazio in central Italy, specifically the city of Rome. It is believed to have originated as a humble meal for shepherds who used simple ingredients readily available to them: pasta, pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. These ingredients were easy to store and transport during long periods of herding.

The preparation of cacio e pepe requires skill and attention to detail. The pasta, usually spaghetti or tonnarelli, is cooked al dente and then combined with a mixture of grated pecorino Romano cheese and freshly ground black pepper. The heat from the pasta melts the cheese, creating a creamy sauce that coats each strand of pasta. The key is achieving the right balance of cheese, pepper, and pasta water to create a smooth and flavorful sauce, today we are elevating our dish by adding beautifully seared Patagonia scallops from Clearwater Seafoods.

Patagonia scallops are renowned for their exceptional quality and flavor. Sourced from the pristine waters of Patagonia, these succulent bivalves are cherished by seafood enthusiasts. Their tender meat boasts a delicate sweetness with hints of brine, making them a culinary delight. Patagonia scallops are a true gourmet indulgence, perfect for exquisite dishes.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta with Seared Clearwater Patagonian Scallops recipeCacio e Pepe Pasta with Seared Clearwater Patagonian Scallops recipe

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Cacio e Pepe Pasta with Seared Clearwater Patagonian Scallops recipe

Cacio e Pepe Pasta with Seared Clearwater Patagonian Scallops

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  • Author: The Kilted Chef
  • Yield: Serves 2


Units Scale
  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino/parmesan plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 lb seared Patagonia scallops from Clearwater Seafoods ( directions below)


Fill a large pot with 6L of water and 1 tbsp. of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti to the pao and return to a boil, cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining pasta.

Warm a skillet over low heat, add the pasta, pasta water and butter and toss together until butter starts to melt.

Add grated cheese and black pepper and continue to toss together until cheese melts and a creamy sauce forms.

Top with seared Clearwater Patagonia scallops more grated cheese and serve.


Searing scallops

  • 1 lb Clearwater Patagonia Scallops
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt to finish

Place your scallops on a paper towel to remove moisture. This will prevent the scallop from boiling in its own juice, for maximum tenderness remove the bit on the side of the scallop.

Sear scallops in a hot skillet with olive oil, for about one to two minutes on each side until the scallop starts to split on the edges and browns. Larger scallops may require more cooking time. It is important to let the scallop sear and not constantly play with it.

Scallops should not be cooked until the last minute to avoid them becoming tough.


  • Category: Entrees, pasta, seafood, what's for dinner, recipes