Thursday, July 18, 2013

Creamy Tomato Penne with Shrimp

I saw this recipe on the Pioneer Woman's website and just had to have it! In a premeditated move, I bought two bags of frozen shrimp when I made a pit stop at Trader Joe's the other day--one bag for this dish, and one for something else later, or sooner!

My two grand-nieces were spending the week with me and they both are Food Network junkies! They like to cook and bake and try new foods, which I think is pretty rare in teenagers, but I love it! The best part is that they have been trained to clean up after, too! So my niece Savvy was telling me some of her favorite dishes to make were Creamy Tomato Tortellini and Abondigas soup and spaghetti (you put Siracha in it!). I would say she has a pretty sophisticated palate.

We got that lovely purple basil in our SLO Veg box last week, and I stored it in the frig in a plastic dish with a paper towel to absorb moisture. It has kept pretty well, but I need to use it up and I can add it to this dish! Savvy and I (acting as Sous chef) started the water for the penne, then proceeded to saute the onion and garlic in butter and oil. The shrimp were already cook, tails removed, so all I had to do was rinse them and chop them up. We added the wine, let it cook down, then added the tomato sauce and cream. After a few minutes of simmering, the shrimp went into the pool along with the basil and parsley and some salt and pepper. Meanwhile, Birdy had buttered a loaf of sourdough bread and spread fresh minced garlic on top of it and we had it toasting in the oven. We also had cauliflower roasting in the oven and it was just about done, nicely browned on the edges. Lee cleared off the dining room table so we could all sit down and have a delicious family meal. Everybody got their beverages and the feast began!

Creamy Tomato Penne with Shrimp, or Penne a la Betsy, as Ree calls it!

Recipe from Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman

Penne a la Betsy


  • 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

Preparation Instructions

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

Here is another recipe from SLO Veg:

Roasted Cauliflower with Kalamata Vinaigrette (Cauliflower) 

yield: Makes 4 (side dish) servings 

active time: 20 min 

total time: 35 min 

Cutting cauliflower into thick, meaty slices, core and all, is a neat trick. 
So is roasting it, which brings out the best in this vegetable, caramelizing its 
edges and playing up its nuttiness. A briny olive vinaigrette adds just the right 
sharp-savory note. 
1 (2 1/2-to 3-pounds) head cauliflower 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
1 small garlic clove 
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste) 
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped 
Preparation: Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third. Cut cauliflower lengthwise into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Put in a large 4-sided sheet pan and toss with 2 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Roast, turning once or twice, until golden and just tender, about 25 minutes. While cauliflower roasts, mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then whisk together with lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, olives, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Serve cauliflower drizzled with Kalamata vinaigrette. 

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