Friday, November 01, 2013

A Tasty Twist on the Pumpkin Spice Craze

I confess, on Friday night at the end of a long week of work and extracurricular commitments, my roommate and I often go out to eat, or if even that seems like too much effort, we order a pizza or Chinese to be delivered. But tonight, I had just enough energy left to prepare something fairly quick and easy, something that I saw recently on Facebook on Aida Mollenkamp's page, called Pumpkin Almond Butter Red Curry Noodle Tangle. Yes, that title is a mouthful, but once you get a mouthful of this stuff, it will become your new favorite kind of "pumpkin spice."

Notes: I didn't have any broccoli on hand, so I used extra chard (from my garden--in November!), and I also threw in some of the pickled garlic scapes that I made in the spring. And I added a squirt ot two of sriracha to give it a little kick.

Pumpkin Almond Butter Red Curry Noodle Tangle
(Source: Aida Mollenkamp)
8 ounces whole wheat or quinoa spaghetti (I used regular linguini)
8 ounces baby broccoli, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and ends discarded
3 ounces baby spinach, kale, or chard (about 3 packed cups)
2/3 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup natural creamy almond butter (I used maple almond butter which was a little chunky)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (next time, I might try rice vinegar)
2 to 3 tablespoons red curry paste
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup hot water
6 green onions (aka scallions), thinly sliced and ends discarded
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded into bite-sized pieces (I used half a deli rotisserie chicken)
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds  
  1. Bring a medium pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook 2 minutes short of the suggested cooking time. Add the baby broccoli to the noodles and cook until noodles are tender and broccoli is bright green and knife tender, about 2 minutes more. Meanwhile, place the baby greens in a colander then drain the noodles and broccoli into the colander (so that you pour the water over the noodles and you flash blanch the greens).
  2. Meanwhile make the pumpkin-almond curry sauce: whisk together the pumpkin puree, almond butter, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the curry paste, garlic, and honey. Add the hot water (you could use some of the noodle cooking water here) and whisk until everything is evenly combined and smooth (you should have a pourable sauce that is about as thick as a whole milk). Taste, and add more salt or curry paste if desired.
  3. Combine the noodles and broccoli mixture with the scallions, chicken, and the sauce in a large bowl and toss well, making sure all the noodles get coated. Garnish with toasted almonds and serve.

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