Penne alla Betsy

by Liz on July 6, 2010

shrimp pasta

What’s that?  I’m going by Betsy now?  Alas, no.  Betsy is The Pioneer Woman’s kid sister, for whom this recipe is named.  (Was that the correct usage of “whom”?)  I discovered this recipe maybe a year ago or so on The Pioneer Woman’s cooking section of her blog.  Also, if you don’t know who the PW is, you live under a rock.  Well, a blog rock, I guess.  I’ll give you a second to get out from under that rock while I’m not looking.

shrimp pasta ingredients

Okay, so what attracts me about this recipe is that it’s easy and it tastes good.  I mean, isn’t that what most of us are going for when it comes time to make dinner?  Sure, I’m not one to shy away from a more challenging recipe or baking project, but sometimes I just want dinner on the table in a relatively short amount of time and also a dinner that I actually want to eat.  Apparently I want to eat this, because I have made at least three times in as many months.  It shouldn’t take much longer than 30 minutes at most to make this, and this comes from someone with poor knife skills and overall bad timing having ingredients ready when needed.

cream sauce in the making

cream sauce

who needs a bowl?

Penne alla Betsy
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks which is also the name of the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook.

Serves 4 - 6

1 pound penne pasta
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
One 14.5 oz-can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
6 - 8 basil leaves, cut in chiffonade

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the penne until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Peel and devein the shrimp and rinse them under cold water (or buy shrimp which has already been peeled and deveined, but not cooked). In a small skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the shrimp.  Stir and cook on both sides until it is just starting to turn opaque, about 2 minutes.  Remove to a plate and allow to cool slightly.  When cooled enough to handle, cut each shrimp in half into small, bite-sized pieces. Next, finely chop the onion.  In a large skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the onion, and stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent.  Then, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Pour the wine (or chicken broth) into the pan, stir, and allow it to evaporate about 45 seconds.  Pour in the tomato sauce and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to low.  Pour in the cream, stirring well to combine, keeping heat on low.  Add the shrimp to the sauce and stir gently to combine. Next, dump in the herbs and stir.  Add the cooked, drained pasta. (Note: I often do not use the full amount of cooked pasta, maybe 3/4 the total amount, but only because I like it to be a bit saucier.)  Stir gently to coat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Oh, and don’t forget about the rest of that wine!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz July 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Daja: Thanks! It’s a brand new blog, so I hope you stick around!

Katiana: You probably can, but the sauce won’t be quite as thick.

Katiana McDonald July 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Looks so simple and yummy, do you think I can use fat free 1/2 and 1/2 instead of cream? I know sounds stupid but I don’t have any cream right now.

Daja July 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Hi there! Came over from a comment link on Last Night’s Dinner! The name of your blog intriqued me! I LOVE IT!

Going to bookmark you and visit again!

charity July 7, 2010 at 8:17 am


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