Pumpkin-Peanut Curry Noodles with Shrimp
1 pound spaghetti
5 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 inches ginger root, minced or grated
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 to 1/3 cup soy sauce, eyeball it
1 (15-ounce) can cooked pumpkin
2 rounded tablespoonfuls mild or hot curry paste
shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces, then thinly sliced lengthwise into matchsticks
Heat a large pot of water for noodles. When water boils, salt it and add pasta to cook to al dente or with a bite to it.
While pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil. Add garlic, ginger, red bell pepper, and pepper flakes to the pan and cook together a couple of minutes, then add peanut butter and melt it. Whisk soy into peanut butter, then stir in pumpkin and curry paste. The sauce will be VERY thick. Turn down the heat to low. Add several ladles of pasta cooking water to thin sauce and simmer over low heat. Adjust salt, to taste.
Place the shrimp in the pan and cook 1 minute, flip and sear the other side until just opaque.
Drain pasta and return pasta to the pot. Add the curry-pumpkin sauce and toss thoroughly. Serve noodles, top with scallions and shrimp.