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Scallops Smoked with Pancetta from the Wood Fired Oven

This is one of our favourite fish dishes from the wood fired oven – super-sweet, juicy scallops wrapped in salty pancetta with a fresh basil leaf tucked in and a hint of orange then gently hot-smoked in the oven with some apple or cherry smoke and finished off with some hot grilling to crisp up the pancetta.

It’s in our Wood Fired Fish & Seafood and there are lots more fishy recipes for the wood fired oven for you in there.

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You can, as ever, check out the recipe on our youtube channel here.

Scallops Smoked with Pancetta from the Wood Fired Oven


Serves 2 as a main or up the scallops and everything else to 12 to serve 4 as a starter

8 scallops, cleaned

8 slices very thin cut pancetta (or Parma ham or thin rindless streaky bacon)

8 large basil leaves

Finely grated zest of half an orange

8 cherry tomatoes divided between 2 small wooden skewers – soak the skewers in water first

Salt and pepper

2tbsp olive oil

Oven State, Equipment etc

For smoking –

2 old roasting tins

Large handful of wood shavings – oak, apple, cherry or beech work well; nothing too strong, soaked and squeezed dry

Wire rack that will fit in the roasting tins and a piece of kitchen paper to sit underneath it (we use an old chicken roasting rack we got from Habitat a million years ago but if you haven’t got anything like that, a small cooling rack will be fine or sit a regular sized one between the 2 roasting tins)

2 Mississippi with the fire at the side of the oven

Door off

Some small pieces of wood

A blow pipe to get them burning quickly


  • Lay out the pieces of pancetta or bacon, whatever you are using, on a board and sprinkle over the orange zest. Season with a little salt and pepper.Scallops Smoked with Pancetta from the Wood Fired Oven
  • Put a basil leaf on each pancetta strip and a scallop on each basil leaf. Roll the scallops and basil up in the pancetta to end up with 12 individual rolls.
  • Put the squeeze-dried wood shavings in the bottom of one of the roasting tins towards one end.
  • Put a small wire rack in the tin with the kitchen paper under it and put the tomato skewers at either end.Scallops Smoked with Pancetta from the Wood Fired Oven
  • Put the scallop rolls on the end of the rack away from the shavings, leaving space between each scallop so the smoke can move between them.
  • Put the other roasting tin on top of the first one to make a loose-fitting lid. It’s important it isn’t a tight seal on the tins as you want the smoke to just drift over the scallops and escape. If the smoke can’t escape it will make the scallops acrid as they will sit in the smoke for too long.
  • Put the wood chipping end of the roasting tins towards the fire in your oven so that they heat up and start to smoke.
  • Leave for 6-8 minutes until the scallops and pancetta are cooked through. The cooking time depends on the size of the scallops – if they are big, they’ll obviously take a little longer.Scallops Smoked with Pancetta from the Wood Fired Oven
  • Take the roasting tins out of the oven while you add the small pieces of wood to the embers. Blow into your blowpipe directing it into the embers so the new wood catches fire quickly and burns brightly. Put the bottom roasting tin back in the oven so that the pancetta crisps up and colours. This will only take a minute or so.
  • Serve the scallops and tomatoes with an orange mayonnaise and a herby green salad or some sautéed samphire when it’s in season.Scallops Smoked with Pancetta from the Wood Fired Oven

Wine Suggestion

How about a New Zealand Sauvignon blanc which will deal with the smokiness  and sweetness of the scallops & the acidity of the tomtatoes. Delicious!
Back soon with more wood fired cooking
David and Hollyx New Zealand Sauvignon blanc will deal with the smokiness & the acidity of the salsa. Staete Landt SB 2018 from Marlborough would be lovely with it!