Buzzed Pasta with Coffee Smoked Scallops

Buzzed Pasta

I am pretty excited today. I am excited because I have an original recipe to share with everyone. I am also excited because I am all hopped up on caffeine. I ate this meal last night and I can still feel it coursing through my bloodstream. Coffee coffee coffee coffee. I got this idea from that Rachael Ray Iron chef where she cooks the pasta in a boiling pot of wine. “What else can I cook pasta in?” I thought to myself. Coffee coffee coffee was the answer. But what could possibly pair with coffee pasta? Well what do you have coffee with? Cream. I also had an ancho chile coffee rubbed steak once so I knew that some heat would go nicely. The rest of the meal came together from searching the web for savory coffee applications. We saw a list of pairings from battle coffee on iron chef and ran with it. Cat Cora made some coffee smoked scallops and I thought they would fit well. But how am I gonna smoke a scallop?….

Do you guys know what this is? It is a French press. This single gadget has taken me from a casual coffee drinker to a full blown coffee lover! It has spoiled me on other coffees. Made me a snob, something I hate to be. If you are serious about coffee, get yourself one of these.

It is simple to use. Just boil some water and pour it in. Add the course ground coffee to the top and let it sit there for about 4 minutes.

Then ever so slowly press the plunger down. I love the slow flurry of coffee grinds snowing down from the top. I love the contrast of the deep dark coffee on top and the amber water below. I love coffee!!!!!! Have I mentioned I am still wired yet? Good.

First lets make an espresso martini! It isn’t actually espresso, but it is very strong coffee and “espresso martini” sounds classier. These are all the rage at upscale bars these days, but I think a lot of places mess it up. The 2 biggest issues I have are that they are often too sweet, and not made with real coffee. Here you can see the ingredients. 1 part Vodka (you can use coffee vodka if you want, but it isn’t needed with real coffee), ½ part Kahlua or coffee liquor, 1 part coffee and a splash of cream.

SHAKE IT UP! People don’t shake their drinks enough. Give it a nice hard shake. “I feel like tom cruise in cocktail!”

Welcome Amy! Don’t take your coat off! Drink this first!

Time to smoke the scallops. Make an Ionic column to place your scallops on. Art history folks. Get some culture.

Give the beans a 2 minute water bath. then put them on the grill over the heat

The scallops go on the cool side.


There are more directions down at the bottom.

We have achieved smoke!


Scallops are all set, time to get the pasta going.

Pancetta removed, veggies added.

These tasted awesome!  Don’t eat them yet though.

Don’t forget to salt the water.



A little chocolate for garnish.

The pasta goes from the boiling coffee directly into the sauce.


Yum! Such interesting flavors.

I really enjoyed eating this meal. I also cleaned the house after and made some pizza dough! I usually fall asleep after eating but this got me up and about. I thought I O.D.’d on caffeine!

This is one of the hardest things to describe… The bitter coffee flavor of the pasta was nicely matched by the salty pancetta and the Smokey scallops. The sort of muting nature of a cream sauce brought all these wonderful flavors together!

Buzzed Pasta with Coffee Smoked Scallops

Pasta cooked in coffee and then tossed in a creamy chile sauce.


  • 12 Cups Coffee
  • 3 Cups Cream
  • 3 Poblanos sliced
  • 1 Handful Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoons Chopped Terragon
  • 1/2 Cup Mascarpone
  • 2 Ounces Dark Chocolate
  • 4 Scallops
  • 1 Cup Whole Coffee Beans
  • 1 Pound Linguine
  • 3 Shallots diced
  • 1/2 Pound Pancetta cubed
  • 3 Jalapenos diced
  • Chili Powder and Cumin


  • If you have a smoker, use that. Just put the coffee beans in as the smoking agent. If you want to smoke them on your charcoal grill, put all the coals on one side and get them going good. Put the beans in a packet of heavy duty aluminum foil and place it directly on the coals. Leave a few holes in the top of the packet for the smoke to escape. Place the scallops on the cool side of the grill and cover it. Give it 30 – 40 minutes.
  • Oh you want to smoke them like I did? Get a disposable aluminum pan from the store and make an airhole on one side. Place a grill pan on your stovetop. Dip the coffee beans in water for 3 minutes, then place on one end of the grill pan. Make a pedestal for the scallops out of foil and place them on the other side of the pan. Turn on the burner under the coffee only. Medium high. Place the cover on enclosing everything with the air hole over the scallops. Cook 30 minutes or until they are opaque and feel done. Check out the above pictures for help! Good luck!
  • Brew a whole bunch of coffee to fill your pasta pot and bring to a boil. remember to salt it.
  • Cook the pancetta in a frying pan until crispy. Remove but leave the juices.
  • Add shallots, poblanos and hot peppers to pan. Salt. Cook about 10 minutes
  • Add Cream. Bring to a simmer. Add Chile powder. About a tablespoon. And a dash of cumin. Stay Close and stir often.
  • Drop pasta around now into boiling coffee.
  • Add Mascarpone to the pan with the cream. About a half cup. Salt.
  • Chop the scallops into small squares. After 5 minutes, add them to the pan. Also put the pancetta back in and the parsley and tarragon. Grate a small amount of the dark chocolate in too
  • At this point, the pasta should be almost done. Take it out and put it right into the sauce. Stir around and let the pasta finish cooking for the last minute in the sauce.
  • Plate and serve. Garnish with more of the parsley tarragon mixture and some grated chocolate.


    This seems like an awesome dish to indulge on during the weekend. The combination of flavors sounds like something I’ve yet to see or taste.
    You guys have come a long way! I need a french press!

  2. it always makes me laugh when people say i look cranky in the pictures… cause when im cooking im actually probably happier than i am the rest of the day ever! hehe just concentrating and super focused i guess…
    anyway! this dinner was kick-ass. perfect balance of flavors. i think if anything had been left out of this it could have been awful but everything together was perfect! the coffee pasta was pretty bitter tasting. the cream sauce had a heat from the hot peppers but it was also warm and earthy from mexican chili powder and cumin. then the salty pancetta, smokey scallops, sweet poblanos and even sweeter chocolate… the herbs added something good too… specially the tarragon added just the teeniest hint of liquorish. wow it was perfect. just perfect! and the espresso martini didnt hurt either 🙂 i think i’m still wired. i cant wait to eat the leftovers when i get home from work later!
    make this!

  3. I think I gained three pounds from this meal easily with all that cream and mascarpone. But that’s okay, it was worth it. And I am pretty sure I burnt it all off since I haven’t been to sleep yet…after running the 10K home from Dan and Mandi’s, I sweeped and mopped my living room, cleaned the kitchen, painted the bathroom, caulked the bathtub, and wrote my first novella. 🙂

  4. Loving your blog, only just stumbled on you today. Is it me or does the close up of the chilli on the sauce in the pan look like a beefed up Road Runner…on steroids…um, flexing? Could just be me … or the coffee, or just a play of light. Don’t know if I’ll try this dish, my arteries are still hard from checking out your other pasta recipes. But I will try your home-made smoking method…with coffee beans. Awesome.

  5. Speaking of coffee snobs…I’m a barista at a small coffee shop and I’ve got a tip for you on your french press method.
    Try by starting with the grounds in the bottom. Pour boiling water over the grounds to about halfway up the french press. Make sure there are no dry spots in the grounds. Allow to rest for one minute. At this point you can watch as the coffee “blooms”. After one minute, stir the grounds down into the water and fill the press the rest of the way. Put the lid on and let rest for 3-4 minutes and then plunge. The blooming process really brings out the flavor in the coffee.

  6. Wow, just wow. What an awesome recipe! I just bought a smoking machine and have been searching for delicious concoctions to create with it. I think your coffee smoked scallops with coffee infused pasta is my absolute favourite!
    Good one, I can’t wait to try this recipe out!! 🙂

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