I have to admit that I've never jumped on the whole Pioneer Woman wagon train. Sure, I have to hand it to the Pioneer Woman. She's parlayed life on a cattle ranch into a multimillion enterprise. But honestly, about the only way I would find life on a cattle ranch manageable is if I also parlayed it into a multimillion dollar enterprise. That, and occasionally getting to head out to the big city on a book tour. And even then, I'm not sure Oklahoma and I would get along.
Not only is P.W. a well known blogger, Food Network personality, cookbook writer, and photographer, she also home schools her kids. Nothing like making the rest of us feel lazy. As I said, I have to hand it to her.
The other day I happened upon the P.W. (aka Ree Drummond, but it's so much more fun to refer to her as P.W.), on the Food Network. She was busy whipping up Penne a la Betsey for Ladd (her rancher hubby) and her passel of kids. (Honestly, I have no idea of how many she has, but it seems like there are a lot of them judging from the massive amounts of food she's always whipping up in the lodge.)
But I digress. This penne looked good. The sauce looked rich, albeit there was a cup of cream contributing to it being rich and thick, and it had little pieces of shrimp disbursed throughout. Hum, an interesting place to start.
Clearly, I didn't need a cup of cream in my sauce so I reduced it drastically and it was plenty. I'm also not a fan of little cut up nuggets of shrimp, so I left them whole. I didn't have any plain tomato sauce around, so I substituted in the same amount of marinara. And I used olive oil instead of the olive oil and butter combo called for in the recipe. As I said... A good place to start and, all in all, I think very positive improvements.
This is a pretty hearty dish -- perfect for life on the ranch. For those of us city folk, this somewhat lighter version is also quite tasty as well. Either way, we can thank the Pioneer Woman for dinner tonight.
Recipe: Pioneer Woman "Penne a la Betsey"
(Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
¾ pounds penne pasta
1 pound shrimp
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cups white wine
1 cup marinara sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm and set aside.
Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp. Heat 2 tablespoons of 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.
In a large skillet heat 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.
Add the marinara and stir well to combine. Add the heavy cream and continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 10 minutes so that flavors develop.
Return the shrimp to the sauce along with the chopped herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cooked penne and stir well to combine. Serve hot.