Friday, March 12, 2010

Penne a la Betsy...Food for a Broken Heart

Me & GrannyRene...Having fun in the kitchen.

***This post is going to be difficult for me.  I'm writing this entry at the end of what has easily been one of the hardest weeks I've ever been through.  On the morning of March 5th, I found out that my GrannyRene had been rushed to the hospital.  She passed away later that afternoon.  It was so unexpected.  We had to say goodbye way too early, and my heart is broken.

My GrannyRene was one of the strongest people that I've ever known...Strong in every way.  She was so kind and loving...and was incredibly involved in the community...especially her church.  She volunteered so much of her time, because she truly enjoyed helping people and doing her part to make this world a little brighter.  She's taught me so many things through the years, including the fact that we have to take one day at the time...and that's exactly what I'll have to do. I know she's smiling down on me right now.

GrannyRene had a knack for making everyone feel loved...and you were richly blessed to have her in your life.  She was beautiful, classy, and a tremendous cook!  In fact, she was famous around here for her Chicken & Dumplings.  You may even remember THIS POST, where I shared her recipe.  The hand-written recipes and photos from that particular post are things that I will treasure forever.  She was so proud of this food blog and told so many people about it. She was so excited when she read that post and saw those photos.

I do find peace in the fact that she's with my grandfather, Papa, right now.  They loved each other so much, and I can't imagine how happy they are to finally be together again.  I have also found that getting back into the kitchen has been puts me at ease and reminds me of GrannyRene. 

This is the dish that got me back into the kitchen.  Cooking can calm the mind, and making this pasta did just that.  It was just what I needed...comfort food to the highest degree.  It's easy to put together, and the taste is truly outstanding.  The creamy tomato sauce is brightened by the fresh basil and parsley.  This is a meal that feels luxurious and would be a great dish for a dinner party...easy, stress-free, but sure to impress.

I'm so blessed to have such wonderful memories of my GrannyRene...I know she'll continue to live on in our hearts forever.  I love you, GrannyRene...

Until next time...Bon Appetit!***

Penne a la Betsy
Source:  The Pioneer Woman


¾ pounds Penne Pasta
1 pound Shrimp
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Onion (small)
2 cloves Garlic
½ cups White Wine
1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz)
1 cup Heavy Cream
Fresh Parsley, to taste
Fresh Basil, to taste
Salt & Pepper, to taste

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 and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.


Jennywenny said...

So sorry for your loss.

Memória said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I send my most heartfelt condolences.

Delectable Dining said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandma... my thoughts are with you during this difficult time!

jidgede said...

thinking of you during this time...i am so sorry....and yes i do remember the chicken and dumplings post...and the "handwritten" recipe....i treasure those handwritten recipes i have from my grandmother...and i know you do too......jennie in tn <><

Chris said...

Very sorry for your loss. I enjoy reading your blog a great deal and many happy dinners have been made thanks to your recipes.

Zia Elle said...

Sorry for you granny...

Andrea said...

So sorry for the loss of your Grandma. Our Grandparents are such amazing people and very integral parts of our lives. Your family will be in my prayers as you heal from your loss and grief. Thank you for your blog - it is a joy to read. I will be trying your Granny Rene's dumplings soon.

Risa said...

Oh bless your grieving heart! I do remember that post and knowing those pics you would treasure some day. I was envious (in a nice way) you had your g-ma around still, because mine are all gone. You always wish you could spend just a little more time with them. Sorry to tell you but it doesn't get easier missing them but at least you had 20 something years with her. She seemed like the sweet you say she was. Take care and treasure every moment.

Tiffany said...

so sorry for your loss. :(

Amy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! :(

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of your loss. Thanks for the recipe, I made it two nights ago and it was wonderful and easy...just perfect :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I'm so sorry to hear that... All my condolences to you and your family. Your Granny seems like she was a wonderful woman.

That dish looks so yummy and comforting.

In thoughts with you,


Laura said...

I'm sorry that you lost someone so close to you. Thanks for sharing the delicious sounding recipe!

Terri said...

Thanks to you sharing your sweet memories of your Granny, her spirit will live on through many :-)