Penne Alla Betsy – Take Three

So last week about this time I told you we had been cancelled on by both our friend with a brake-less car, as well as a five month old baby. Well last night was our third try at getting together. (The week before we had cancelled on her because both E and I were battling a pretty gruesome cold.) I am happy to report that we finally got to get together with the lovely Beth! Which means, we got to have Pioneer Woman’s Penne Alla Betsy!


Traffic, traffic everywhere.

After Beth’s car plunked out last week, I told her I was expecting everyone to be healthy (check – although it was a close call! Beth had been sick all week long.), everyone to have fully functional cars (check – Beth actually bought a new car, so the old car a.k.a. Bessie Lou was no longer an issue.), and we would be enjoying 80 degrees and sunshine. Hmm. I think I jinxed it. We enjoyed yet another cold snap this week with -20 degrees at night. And, just before rush hour last night big beautiful snow flakes started falling. I would have enjoyed them since I worked from home yesterday, if it weren’t for the fact that Beth had to drive all the way across town. She left her house at 4:45 and arrived at ours at 6:45.

Fortunately she arrived safely and we had an awesome night enjoying penne, gorgonzola apple salad from Zpizza, pots de creme, Munchkin, and Mario Party 9.

Penne Alla Betsy

Overall: four-star

Ease to Prepare: five-star

DSCF4661Another easy recipe from Pioneer Woman! I bought de-tailed, de-veined shrimp so that made it a cinch to cook and chop them. The sauce was pretty easy as well. Since I didn’t know when Beth would be arriving I had all my ingredients lined up (Yes, I had to keep refilling the wine I had set aside. Not sure where it was going!) and just started it cooking once she arrived. It all came together very quickly. Then you just dump your sauce, pasta, and shrimp together and go!

Instructions: three-star

Awww, what a gal! Even helps out with the sauce.

Awww, what a gal! Even helps out with the sauce.

So nice to have the photos to reference each step of the way, but it also means the recipe is three pages long. As I’ve mentioned before, it stinks that I have to take my cookbook out of the holder and flip to the next page to find the next step – and flip back again to see the ingredient list. Also, I noticed the recipe in the cookbook calls for a 14.5 oz. can of tomato sauce, but the linked recipe on her website calls for one 8 oz. can of sauce. I actually used two 8 oz. cans (so more than even the cookbook calls for) an

d I think it turned out great. I guess it just depends on how tomato-y you like your dish to me.

Food: four-star

A crowd pleasing dish – you can serve this up to even the pickiest of eaters and feel confident that they’ll love it. I actually found the flavor a little flat – not to mention I felt it needed a bit more color – so I added some halved grape tomatoes. You could also add a bit of spinach for a little more color.

Clean up: four-star

I only had a pan and a pot to clean up. Pioneer Woman tells you to prepare the shrimp in a pan and then the sauce in another. I’m not sure why you couldn’t just use the same pan – I did. It worked fine and saved me an extra pan to wash.

  Cost: one dollar

For the rich flavor and heartiness of the meal, it was a phenomenal deal. Shrimp can sometimes be pricy – moreso if you buy it fresh, at least that’s the case in my area – but everything else is very affordable.


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