Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PW's Penne a la Betsy

Joe is on night float this week, which means he works from 6 pm to 6 am. So I had to come up with a menu that included dishes that could be easily reheated and schlepped to the hospital. I knew that an obvious choice was a pasta dish, but I wanted something a little more exciting than spaghetti and marinara or pasta with a bolognese sauce. A few weeks ago, Kroger had some frozen shrimp that were buy one, get one free, so I had some shrimp in the freezer.

I've had my eye on this recipe for a while, though the amount of olive oil and butter was slightly off-putting. Then you throw in the cream, and it gets really bad for you! That's my one problem with a lot of Pioneer Woman's recipes. Oh well, it's all about portion control, right?

My house smelled like a restaurant while cooking this, and I realized this is exactly the type of dish I would normally order at a restaurant when I'm feeling a little indulgent.

Penne a la Betsy
Source: The Pioneer Woman

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • 1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 lb penne or other short pasta
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine (I used dry vermouth.)
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley
  • Basil

1. Put water on to boil for the pasta.
2. Heat a large frying pan and melt 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil in pan. (I halved all of the olive oil and butter measurements.) Sautee shrimp until opaque and then remove to a plate to cool.
3. Melt another 2 tbsp butter and olive oil in the same pan and cook garlic until slightly browning. Add onion and cook until translucent.
4. Add pasta to boiling water and cook per package directions.
5. Add 1/2 cup of wine and allow to cook down for approximately a minute. Then add tomato sauce, stirring to combine, and cream.
6. Chop parsley and basil and add to sauce to taste. (I only had a little fresh basil, so I used dried parsley and basil to supplement, but fresh would be preferable.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Remove shrimp tails and chop shrimp into tiny, bite-size pieces. Return to sauce and stir to combine.
8. When pasta is cooked, drain, and then add to sauce, tossing to cover. (Or, if you're like me, add the sauce to the pasta pot because you don't have a big enough fry pan.) Serve!