We've made Penne a la Betsy from PDubs' site before and it's scrumptious and sinful. Heavy cream, butter, oil - oy vey! We thought we would attempt to make a slightly healthier version - much less butter, oil, replacing heavy cream with half and half, and skipping the salt. Maybe a not-so-healthy replacement, we also substituted turkey sausage for the shrimp. It just seemed quicker, rather than deveining the little suckers.
To be honest, I don't think I could taste the difference from the original! Maybe if I had them side-by-side, but these slight modifications still made a heavenly dish. Yes, I admit, it's still not healthy, but it's healthier. There has to be some indulgence on Valentine's Day, right? A little Lilyhammer, pasta and your main squeeze? Perfection.
P.S. Please don't judge my portion size above. This lady was hungry! And I wonder why my pants are feeling tighter this week? :)
Penne a la Erika! (Original recipe)
3/4 pounds Penne Pasta (if you use the full 1 lb. box, add a bit more tomato and half and half)
1 pound turkey sausage
1 Tablespoons Butter (was 3)
1 Tablespoons Olive Oil (was 3)
1 small whole Onion
3 cloves Garlic (was 2, but we wanted more)
1/2 cup White Wine, Or To Taste
1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz)
1 cup half and half (was heavy cream)
Fresh Parsley, to taste (we tend to add more because we can never finish a full bundle, so we want to get some get use out of it!)
Fresh Basil, to Taste (ditto, above)
Pepper To Taste
Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.
Brown the turkey sausage. Remove from pan onto plate.
Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 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.
Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of half and half. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.
Chop your herbs, about 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and about the same amount of chopped basil.
Now add the turkey sausage into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add pepper to taste. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.