I did not want to go to the grocery store today. It has been raining all weekend, and carting groceries around in the rain is not my idea of a fun time. So, I pulled open the freezer and saw the sea scallops sitting right next to a bag of pumpkin puree from my garden that I froze a month ago. The light bulb went off! I invented this meal, pretty much, based on what I had.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup coarsely chopped kielbasa (skip this to make it vegetarian)
- 1 large chopped red onion
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, nutmeg to taste
- splash apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 cups water (use the starchy cooking water from the pasta)
- splash of half and half, cream, or milk
- 12 oz. ziti, penne, or rigatoni (or any pasta, for that matter)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
Get a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil. In a Dutch oven, brown the kielbasa in the olive oil, then add the onions and garlic. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and cook until it evaporates. Add the pumpkin and seasonings, and bring up to a bubble. In the mean time, cook the pasta. Add the starchy pasta water to the sauce to thin it as desired. Stir in the half and half/cream/milk and bring back to a bubble. Add the pasta to the sauce, then stir in the cheese. Top with the bread crumbs and bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes.
Spicy Sea Scallops
- 1 lb sea callops (I buy frozen ones and thaw them by setting the plastic bag in a bowl of water for a few hours)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- small dash nutmeg
Remove the hard muscle from the scallops if needed. Oil a baking pan or spray with cooking spray and spread the scallops out on it so they are not touching eachother. Combine all the spices and rub a small amount onto the top of each scallop. You will have leftover spices, so don’t cross-contaminate! Bake in the 400°F oven that the pasta is baking in for 10 minutes on the top shelf.