Monday, May 10, 2010

Penne "alla Betsy"

(Pardon the bad picture. We were too busy devouring to bother taking a picture until we were loading it in tupperware for leftovers. Oops).

I don't know anyone named Betsy, but this recipe comes from the Pioneer Woman (whose sister's name is Betsy). We tried this a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it! I bought some frozen shrimp on a whim and was looking for recipes with shrimp and this won! Jeremy loved this and was very glad we had lots of leftovers. It's really easy to make and very delicious - shrimp and penne pasta in a tomato cream sauce with fresh basil and parsley. Mmm. (By the way, if you are like me and sadly live nowhere near an ocean, I recommend buying shrimp frozen because it's more fresh than the "fresh" shrimp, which is actually shrimp that was frozen and then thawed. Just a tip). Enjoy!

Penne alla Betsy
3/4 lb. penne pasta
1 lb. large or extra-large shrimp*
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
1 whole small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. white wine or chicken stock
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. heavy cream
1 - 2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 - 2 T. fresh basil, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste

Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm (al dente).
Peel, devein and rinse 1 pound of extra large shrimp under cool water (I went ahead and removed the tails now instead of later as she suggests; do whatever you like). Heat 1 T. 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.
In a large skillet heat other T. of butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your white wine (or chicken stock). Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. 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. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.
*Shrimp: You will see on the package a number like 30-40 count. This is the number of shrimp per pound. The smaller the number, the bigger the shrimp. Go for a smaller number for this dish.
***A note about the herbs: I noticed when I say parsley, I should specify that it's flat-leaf parsley, not the curly stuff. I've never used the curly stuff and it looks more like a garnish then something I would stick in my food. So I always use flat-leaf. In fact, it's growing in my garden right now! Also, about the basil, if you want to "chiffonade" the basil, which is the fancy (and easy) way to chop it, just stack up your leaves, roll them up lengthwise and then chop them. You'll get beautiful thin strips of basil. Just a tip!
Source: Adapted from The Pioneer Woman


Angie said...

Mmmm... I read Penne a la Betsy and I knew just the recipe you were talking about! I read that recipe a while back on PW and drooled over it the whole time. It looked sooooo good I remembered from months ago. I'm glad to hear a second opinion that it was as good as I looked! I'll be making this soon. Thanks!

Rob and Amy Weaver Clan said...

That looks delicious!

Julianne said...

This is Ryan's 2nd favorite meal. Though, we use chicken instead of shrimp. I have some sort of problem with any fish and tomatoes put together. I'm wierd. So, we use chicken and it is quite lovely. We also put freshly shredded parmesan on it, too. Yay for a tasty meal.