Celebrate with linguine

Linguine with vodka sauce. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)

Linguine with vodka sauce. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)

Fresh pasta with scallops and a vodka-flavored sauce is a traditional Italian dinner.

Lucky for us, we can enjoy this dish with fresh pasta available in our supermarkets.

Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: The rich, creamy sauce in this dish would be nicely matched by a creamy California chardonnay.

Helpful hints:

  • Fat-free chicken broth can be substituted for fish broth.
  • Fresh diced or chopped onion found in the produce department can be used instead of frozen onion.
  • Look for washed, ready-to-eat Italian-style salad with red radicchio leaves for the side dish.


  • Place water for pasta on to boil.
  • Prepare scallops.
  • Remove scallops and use same skillet for sauce.
  • Boil pasta.
  • Prepare salad.

Shopping list:

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

1 package frozen diced/chopped onion, 1 small bottle vodka, 1 large, ripe tomato or 3 plum tomatoes, 3/4 pound baby or bay scallops,1small carton heavy cream, 1 bunch basil, 1 package fresh linguine, 1 container plain breadcrumbs, 1 bottle clam juice and 1 bag washed, ready-to-eat Italian-style salad.

Staples: Olive oil, minced garlic, cornstarch, reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing, salt and black peppercorns.

Linguine with Vodka Sauce

By Linda Gassenheimer

2 tsp. olive oil

3/4 lb. baby or bay scallops

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1 cup frozen diced/chopped onion

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 cup vodka

1 large, ripe tomato or 3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup clam juice

1 tsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup basil leaves torn into small pieces

1/4 lb. fresh linguine

Place a large saucepan filled with 4 to 5 quarts of water on to boil. Mix scallops and breadcrumbs together in a bowl. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and toss in the pan 2 minutes, making sure all sides are cooked. Remove to a plate. Add onions and saute 1 minute. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add vodka, raise heat and reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add tomato and clam juice. Cover and cook gently without boiling for 1 minute.

Mix cornstarch with cream together and add to the skillet. Stir and cook 2 to 3 minutes to thicken the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce into large serving bowl and add basil. Place linguine in boiling water and boil 2 minutes. Strain and toss with sauce. Divide pasta between two dinner plates and spoon the scallops over the pasta.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 566 calories (21 percent from fat), 13.1 g fat (4.6 g saturated, 3.9 g monounsaturated), 71 mg cholesterol, 40.5 g protein, 70.3 g carbohydrates, 5.1 g fiber, 491 mg sodium.


4 cups washed, ready-to-eat Italian-style salad

2 Tbsp. reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing.

Place salad in a bowl and toss with dressing.

Yields 2 servings.

Per serving: 27 calories (13 percent from fat), 0.4 g fat (0.1 g saturated, 0.3g monounsaturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 1.2 g protein, 3.8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 12 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks including her newest, Delicious One-Pot Dishes, Quick and Easy Chicken, No-fuss Diabetes Desserts and Simply Smoothies: Fresh & Fast Diabetes-Friendly Snacks & Complete Meals. Visit Linda www.DinnerInMinutes.com, contact her Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com or twitter @Lgassenheimer