Monday, April 20, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Penne alla Betsy

When I'm cooking, Sadi likes to post up between the stove and the refrigerator. She's not really there to catch falling food objects or to beg for bites. I think she just lays there to inject herself into the center of my activities. She doesn't care that I'm stepping over her or hitting her in the back with the refrigerator door. She just likes to be in the middle of things.

This picture is a good example of Sadi's new springtime 'do. Any of you guys out there with an indoor lab know of that which I speak...their massive shedding capabilities, especially in the spring when it's warming up. To combat the vacuum clogging amounts of Sadi-hair that cover our carpets in the spring, Brent gave Sadi a #6 all over. I'll admit, it's helped with the shedding (a LOT) but it's made my beautiful shiny black dog kinda flat and dull. I've requested that next time he trim her, he avoid anything above the collar line and that he leaves alone my favorite part ever...her Burt Reynolds-quality curly chest hair.

Onto the food:

My husband loves shrimp so he was especially excited when I told him about this recipe, the Pioneer Woman's Penne alla Betsy. I need some help though, interneters. My tomato cream sauce was not creamy. It was very thin. Where did I go wrong? I've seen beautiful pictures of this recipe as prepared by other bloggers (and the PW herself). So, calling all chefs. Tell me, what did I do wrong?

Pioneer Woman's Penne alla Betsy


  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 3/4 lb penne pasta
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh basil
  • salt and pepper

Cook the pasta as directed, until al dente.

Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) the shrimp. Or be like me and buy pre-cooked shrimp in the Archer Farms bag at Target.

Heat about 1 tbsp butter and olive oil in the skillet, cook the shrimp for a couple minutes until opaque (I went ahead and did this step, even though my shrimp were pre-cooked, in order to warm them up and to season them). Don't overcook. Remove to a plate and let cool for a few minutes.

In the same skillet, heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute the garlic and onion for a few minutes. While it's cooking, use this time to remove the tails from your shrimp (if they have them) and cut them into bite sized pieces. To the onions and garlic, add the wine (I didn't have any wine in the house so I had to use chicken stock). Allow to reduce for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now add the tomato sauce, stirring well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and add the cream, stirring all the while. Allow to simmer while you chop your herbs (I didn't have any because my basil plants are still babies, I definitely missed the green color and yummy flavor it would have added).

Add the shrimp back into the sauce, toss to coat. Add the drained penne to the skillet and stir it all up. Season to taste and enjoy with a crispy piece of bread! Yum!


  1. I've heard raves about this specific PW dish and I hope to try it soon!

  2. It looks great! I've never tried it, but I think you could add some parm cheese to thicken it up.

  3. I've made this and it's great! I plan on making it again soon as soon as my basil is grown. Try it again with basil...oh my gosh. It's amazing.

  4. I made this tonight and it was devine! The sauce was thin until it cooled a bit and then it thickened up really nicely. I also added two tablespoons of parmesan cheese, and I think that helped to thicken the sauce as well. Loved it.