Sunday, January 24, 2010

Penne a la Betsy

After hearing raves and raves about Pioneer Woman's Penne a la Betsy I figured it was time to give it a try. It was good, don't get me wrong, but I think I had my expectations a little too high. It was a little too rich for me, so next time I'll definitely use half and half instead of heavy cream. I also think I'd love it with a drained can of diced tomatoes. I didn't have any on hand, but I added the two small tomatoes I did have. I also agree with my friend Dani to up the salt. I used precooked shrimp, which was fine, but next time I'll look them myself, just to make it a little more "fresh."

Recipe Adapted from Pioneer Woman


* ¾ pounds Penne Pasta (it comes in 1 pound boxes and I think it would still be enough sauce if you used the whole box)
* 1 pound Shrimp
* 3 Tablespoons Butter
* 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
* 1 whole Onion (small) (yay for using my Ninja to mince it =) )
* 2 cloves Garlic
* ½ cups White Wine (or To Taste)
* 1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz)
* 1 cup Heavy Cream
* Fresh Parsley, to taste (only had dried, use 1 tsp)
* Fresh Basil - to taste (didn't have any, used 3/4 tsp of Italian Seasoning)
* Salt to taste - (at least a tsp)
* Pepper to taste
***My addition - 1 can of dice tomatoes, drained.


Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.

Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of large shrimp. Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes until just opaque. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite –sized pieces and set aside.

Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic.

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your white wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use wine, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead (about ½ cup).

Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. (Add diced tomatoes if you're using them). Add seasonings. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.

Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.


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