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Recipe: Penne "Alla Betsy"

Jun 27, 2012 06:23PM ● By Anonymous

The recipe comes from Ree Drummond, also known as "The Pioneer Woman." If you haven't heard of her, you might be living under a rock. I started reading her blog way back when, but she now has two cookbooks (I own the first one) and a Food Network cooking show. Needless to say, she's kind of a big deal.

This Penne "alla Betsy" (named for her younger sister, but more accurately, it penne pasta in a tomato-cream sauce) recipe was posted on her cooking blog nearly five years ago, and I think I've been drooling over it ever since. I can't recall why I've never made it before, but I see the error of my ways now. 

Take note, however, this is in no way a healthy or diet dish. Pasta AND cream AND butter AND wine? Sigh. Sometimes a girl has to splurge. I did cut out one tablespoon butter and the olive oil without any major ramifications, though; though the recipe below is as Ree originally wrote it. I also added a bit of red pepper for a little spice, which I enjoyed.

Penne Alla Betsy
Serves 6

3/4 pounds Penne Pasta
1 pound Shrimp
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Onion (small)
2 cloves Garlic
1/2 cup 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

The directions, as the Pioneer Women writes them...

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.

Don't spend five years looking at this recipe like I did -- make it now!