Sunday, February 6, 2011

Penne ala Betsy

I busted out the laptop today so I can get caught up on blog entries while I watch the Super Bowl. The only problem is that one of the shift keys doesn't work very well, so let me go ahead and apologize in advance for any capitalization mistakes there might be. it's not me, it's the computer...i swear! See?!

i'm going back two weeks here. I have no idea how i fell so behind on updating. if you recall, my BFF jen and i decided to justify our outlandish cookbook collections this year by choosing a cookbook each week and planning multiple meals from it. Two weeks ago i chose The Pioneer Woman. Surprisingly i haven't made that much from it, mostly because a lot of it is not at all healthy.

I had it out for Thanksgiving 2.2 for her mashed potato recipe and then decided I'd use that for my first cookbook. Penne ala Betsy is a recipe i'd always wanted to try, so i thought it would make a great dinner for the husband and mine's friday night date night dinner.

PW's Penne ala Betsy
source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

3/4 pounds Penne Pasta
1 pound Shrimp
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Onion (small)
2 cloves Garlic
1/2 cups White Wine, Or To Taste
1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz)
1 cup Heavy Cream
Fresh Parsley, to taste
Fresh Basil - To Taste
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste

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

Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra 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. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.

Now chop your herbs, about a tablespoon of chopped parsley and about the same amount of chopped basil, or if you’re feeling very proper, chiffonaded.

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


of course for awesome pictures of it, you can see the recipe on pw's website.

I didn't change a whole lot of this. i did use half and half instead of cream to make it a bit healthier. i actually cut the recipe in half (except for the shrimp) since it was just the husband and i eating it. i figured that way we'd be less likely to go overboard eating it. let me tell you, i was glad i did because we definitely would have eaten too much.

This was really tasty. It reminded me of a vodka tomato cream sauce recipe i used to make in college. it was probably the only real thing i could cook in college, but I haven't made it in quite some time. This came together really quickly and easily, too, which was nice. It's definitely something that I'd make again.

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