Dover Sole Scampi

Dover Sole Scampi! This is a simple pasta dish with flaky white fish and buttery lemon and white wine sauce | pasta recipes | Italian recipes |

If you have no idea what any of those words mean, bear with me! It’s worth it if you stick around to the end.

Your first question is probably: What on earth is Dover sole? Dover sole is a type of flatfish, one of those weird ones where the normal baby fish grow into adults that lie sideways on the ocean floor and one of their eyes MIGRATES TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THEIR HEAD. Thankfully it can be bought as fillets, so you’d never know about the eye thing (unless I just really creeped you out. In which case, try this recipe with shrimp).

Here’s another cool thing about Dover sole: the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch labels sole as either “Best Choice,” meaning that it’s very environmentally friendly, or “Good Alternative,” meaning it’s not bad for the environment. Either way, you can be reasonably sure that it’s not being caught in a way that, say, also accidentally catches sea turtles. (Seafood Watch also comes as an app, by the way, so you can check it when you’re standing in front of the fish section at the grocery store. Neat, huh?)

Sole scampi

So sole is a fish. Scampi is an Italian pasta dish which, if the internet is to be believed, always includes crustaceans, usually shrimp. It’s basically a butter-lemon-wine sauce, and those are three things that were made to be together.

This is a simple, quick recipe: if you’re a put-together sort of cook, this can be done in under half an hour. If you’re not, it still won’t take much longer.

We (mostly but not exclusively Robby) like sauce. Reeeeaally like sauce. So while this is based on a Food Network recipe, the sauce is, um, tripled. And I never feel like it’s too much. If you do (or if the amount of butter listed below makes you stagger) try halving the recipe.


Dover Sole Scampi

A twist on a delicious Italian pasta classic! Based on this Food Network recipe.

  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1 pound dry pasta
  • 1 pound Dover sole (or shrimp)
  • 10 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided (2 1/2 + 10 tablespoons)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup torn or chopped fresh basil
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Boil a large pot of salted water for pasta. Cook to al dente; drain and set aside.
  2. In the meantime, melt a couple tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add fish, cooking 2 minutes per side. Add garlic and cook for another minute, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove to a plate.
  3. Add the lemon juice and wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits. Cook until the sauce is reduced by about half. Turn the heat off and add the remaining butter plus basil. Season with salt and pepper as needed (you probably will need at least some). Admire the way the butter melts into the sauce for that perfect buttery touch.
  4. Toss sauce with the pasta. For best effect, serve whole piece of fish on top of the pasta, garnished with a lemon wedge and parsley.

The Burroughs

Katie and Robby Burroughs, writers, photographers, and curators of Bear and Bug Eats.

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