September 30, 2012

Penne Alla Betsy (Pioneer Woman)

I've owned Ree Drummond's cookbook for almost three years and it's become one of my favorites. The step-by-step photos are not only mouth-watering, but helpful to both new and experienced cooks.

The summer before last, my granddaughter and I decided to try Drummond's recipe for Penne Alla Betsy. It was a huge hit and has become one of my favorite go-to meals.

The Pioneer Woman's Penne Alla Betsy

1 lb. penne pasta
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finally chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1-14.5 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
Milk for thinning
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
6 basil leaves, cut in chiffonade (long thin strips)
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the penne according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a medium-sized skillet, melt 1 Tbsp. of butter and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, over medium-high heat.

Add the shrimp. Stir and cook on both sides until the shrimp is just starting to turn opaque, about two minutes. Remove shrimp to a dish and allow to cool slightly.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and onion. Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. 

Stir in wine and allow it to evaporate, about a minute.

Add the tomato sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low. 

Add the cream, followed by the cooked shrimp, stirring well to combine. 

Add the parsley and basil, followed by the cooked pasta. Stir gently to coat. If the sauce is too thick, add a little milk to thin.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with crusty French bread and a tossed green salad.

Serves 4 to 6

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  1. Love that chef in your kitchen and her beautiful smile and face!! This sounds delicious to me! I have the same cookbook but haven't made this one...yet!

    1. Thanks, Staci! She loves to cook and we had such a good time together, sampling new and old recipes. You'll have to let me know what you think of this one. I made it again last night and it was just as good as I remembered. Great leftovers, too, which is always a plus.

  2. This dish sounds like a winner, and your chef is lovely.

    1. Thanks, Diane. It's become a family favorite. Drummond's recipes may not all be super healthy, but they're delicious!

  3. Your helper is so beautiful! This looks very easy, I'll have to mark it in the cookbook.

    1. Aww, thanks Candace. She's a real sweetie, too. I can't wait for her next summer visit... we're hoping it'll be for a full month!

      Yep, you'll have to give this one a try. We had it again last night and I think I want to add some scallops next time around. It would also make a great side dish without any seafood. Just the sauce and pasta. Great flavors!

  4. I love that cookbook too. I'm sure that recipe tasted even better when your lovely granddaughter helped cook it.

    1. Isn't it a good cookbook? I really need to pick up a copy of her new one before our granddaughter comes out again next summer! And when she's a little bit older, I'll have to send her a copy, since she enjoyed cooking from it so much. :)

  5. This looks great. I do not own Ree's cookbooks but visit her blog fairly regularly to look at her photos, and the recipes from the blog have been good so far.

    1. I used to visit her blog all the time (love, love, love her photos!!), but stopped when I had to limit my computer time to my favorite blogs. I really enjoy her recipes, but they're obviously geared to folks who work on ranches! Lots of butter, cheese, red meat and oils! But yummy! ;)

  6. I love the look of this recipe. Unfortunately my little chef won't eat prawns (shrimp!) so I can't make it as a meal just for us!

    1. The sauce has such a great flavor, Marg, that I'll bet you could substitute some roast chicken or even some meatballs and Italian sausage. Or just serve it without any of the shrimp as a side dish.

  7. What a great helper you have!

    1. She's the BEST! She loves to cook and is quite skilled with a knife. She's the perfect sous chef!


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