Pumpkin-Peanut Curry Noodles with Five-Spice Seared Scallops and Shrimp
Credit: Bobby Fisher
Salt 1 pound spaghetti 8 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil (Don’t worry! You’re not gonna wind up eating all that oil!) 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1?2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1?4 cup creamy peanut butter 1?4 to 1?3 cup tamari (dark soy sauce; eyeball it) 1 15-ounce can cooked pumpkin 2 rounded tablespoons mild or hot curry paste, such as Patak’s, found on the international foods aisle 3 tablespoons five-spice powder 12 large sea scallops, trimmed and patted dry 12 jumbo shrimp, 6 to 8 count, peeled and deveined 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces, then thinly sliced lengthwise into matchsticks
Heat a large covered pot of water for the pasta. When the water boils, salt it, drop in the pasta, and cook to al dente. Heads up: you’ll need to reserve a cup or so of the cooking water before you drain the pasta.
While the pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable or peanut oil. Add the garlic, ginger, red bell peppers, and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook them together for a couple of minutes, then add the peanut butter and stir until it melts. Whisk the tamari into the peanut butter, then stir in the pumpkin and curry paste—the sauce should now be very thick. Turn the heat down to low. Add a ladle or two of the boiling pasta cooking water to thin the sauce a bit, and simmer the sauce over low heat. Adjust the salt to taste.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Pour the five-spice powder onto a plate with some salt. Press both sides of the scallops and shrimp into the spices. Add 3 tablespoons of the remaining oil to the hot skillet. Add the shrimp and sear on both sides, until opaque. Remove to a plate and reserve. Wipe the skillet out and add the last 3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Make sure the pan gets super hot again before you add the scallops, and sear on both sides until opaque. Remove to the same plate as the shrimp.
Drain the pasta, and return it to the pot. Add the pumpkin-peanut sauce to the pasta pot and toss until the pasta is thoroughly coated. Top the noodles with the scallions and seafood, then serve. Makes 4 servings.