This Seafood Alfredo with Scallops and Pumpkin is made with a quick, from-scratch pasta sauce, and is a perfect fall Date Night dinner!
Welcome to October! Here at Champagne Tastes, October is exciting! Why? It’s National Seafood Month! (Hooray!) This month, I’ll be embracing the fishy side of this vegetarian and seafood blog.
What does Seafood Month mean for you? It means… whatever you want it to mean.
If you’ve been trying to include more seafood in your diet, October is a fabulous time to start! If you already eat seafood on a regular basis, October is a perfect time to look at the quality of your seafood, as well as at how sustainable it is.
To start things off, let’s talk sea scallops!
This Seafood Alfredo with Scallops and Pumpkin is made with high-quality, sustainably-sourced sea scallops, seasonal pumpkin, and an easy, from-scratch pasta sauce!
Buying Sea Scallops
When you’re shopping for scallops, you’ll see different types.
For this recipe, skip the tiny bay scallops, and look for larger sea scallops. Bay scallops are small and hard to sear.
How Many Sea Scallops Should I Serve Per Person?
Sea scallops can be pricey, but a little goes a long way.
When you’re shopping for sea scallops, keep in mind that a serving size is 4oz. Depending on the size of the scallops, that’s only 3-5 sea scallops per person. This is especially true when you’re serving the scallops with a starchy dish like pasta.
Making Seafood Alfredo with Scallops and Pumpkin
First off, let me apologize, and tell you that this is not a “one pot meal,” and it’s not even a two pot meal. You’ll need two pans AND a pot– which is a lot more clean-up than I normally like to have. Trust me though, and make this anyway!
First, bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, heat the butter in a large pan, and when it melts, begin whisking in the milk, cream, and finally the cheese. When everything has melted together, add the pumpkin and whisk again.
Culinary Tip: If we were feeling fancy, we could call this a ‘pumpkin and butter roux,’ instead of a traditional flour-butter roux, because the pumpkin will thicken up the mixture just like flour would.
In another pan, preferably a heavy pan, sauté your bell pepper. Add the pasta to the boiling water, and cook it until it is ALMOST, but not quite, finished cooking.
Then, pull the pasta straight from the hot water and add it to the pumpkin sauce. Toss it together until the sauce coats the pasta, and then add the bell pepper. Cover the pasta, and set it aside.
Turn up the heat on the pan you used for the bell pepper. Add a little butter, and wait for the butter to melt. Pat your scallops dry, season them lightly with salt and cayenne, and then set them carefully into the hot pan. Sear them for about two minutes per side, and then serve the pasta and scallops together immediately!
Need more help? Check out this tutorial on How to Pan-Sear Fish.
Want more SEA SCALLOPS? Try these:
- Grilled Scallops with Bourbon Sauce
- Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce
- Broiled Scallop Gratin with Pumpkin
Want more PUMPKIN recipe ideas? Try these:
Seafood Alfredo with Scallops and Pumpkin
- 4 oz fettuccine
- 1 TB butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shaved
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 sweet bell pepper, julienned
- 1 TB butter
- 7 oz sea scallops (3-5 per person, depending on the size of scallops)
- 1 tsp ground cayenne
- pinch salt
- 6-8 leaves fresh basil, chopped (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook fettuccine about two minutes LESS than the package directions call for.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or wok, heat butter over medium heat until it melts. Then, whisk in the milk and cream. Next, add the Parmesan, and continue to whisk until it melts. Add the pumpkin, and stir again.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pan (like a cast iron pan), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add bell peppers and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened. Set peppers aside. (You'll use the same pan to cook the scallops.)
- About 2 minutes before the fettuccine is al dente (or, 1-2 minutes before it's perfectly cooked), remove the pasta from the water with a pasta spoon, shake off excess water, and drop the pasta straight into the pumpkin sauce. Toss the pasta into the sauce to coat the pasta. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little of the pasta water (a tablespoon at a time), until the sauce will evenly coat the pasta.
- Add the reserved bell peppers to the pasta, and toss to incorporate. Remove pasta from heat, and cover to keep it warm.
- In the heavy-bottom pan used to sauté the bell pepper, add 1 TB butter, and raise heat to medium-high. If the butter begins to smoke, lower the heat slightly.
- Pat the scallops dry, sprinkle lightly with salt and cayenne. Add scallops to the pan, and let them sit on one side for 2 minutes per side, until each side is golden brown.
- Divide pasta between two plates, and then divide the scallops between the dishes (3-5 per plate). Garnish with fresh basil if desired. Serve immediately.