Scallops in Tomato Brandy Cream Sauce

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Served over pasta, this sauce was one of the most requested “specials of the day” at a fine restaurant I worked at during the 1980s. The origins of the dish are long-lost, but I hereby salute whoever invented this graceful combination of fresh tomatoes, seafood and cream.

This version substitutes sustainably raised bay scallops for the shrimp called for in the earlier version, plus organic dairy for the butter and heavy cream. I think it’s better than ever.

Serve over fresh pasta or rice, or in crepes or patty shells.


  • 3 tablespoons Organic Valley butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 12 pounds bay scallops
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 13 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons grated carrot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 13 cup brandy
  • 34 cup clam juice
  • 1 12 - 2 cups peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 34 cup Organic Valley heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste


1. Make a roux: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small skillet or saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring often, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Drain the scallops (if desired, use the scallop juice as part of the clam juice amount that is called for). Lightly squeeze the drained scallops in a triple-thickness of paper towels, to dry them well. Set aside.

3. Heat olive oil and remaining butter in a larger saucepan. Add onions, carrots, bay leaf and lemon zest. Cook 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in brandy, clam juice, tomatoes and cream. Bring to a simmer and whisk in the roux. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. 

4. Add scallops and cook gently until barely tender, a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf. 


For a fresh herb accent, chopped fresh tarragon or lemon thyme may be added to the sauce with the scallops.

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