A Brilliant Crispy Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto
Peas are a wonderful spring vegetable – absolutely delicious freshly shelled – but equally as delicious even when they’re frozen! The great thing about frozen peas is that you never have to thaw them to use them in a recipe – just toss them still frozen into whatever hot dish you are preparing and they come out perfectly every time. This recipe is so simple because it uses not only frozen peas but also frozen tortellini – BRILLIANT! It’s from one of my favorite sites – smittenkitchen.com – created by Deb Perelman and posted on May 9, 2016. Great for a gathering of friends, family, a date night, or colleagues. This recipe serves two; just multiply and it will serve a crowd.
In the Skillet
- 3 thin slices prosciutto (optional)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 13-14 ounce package frozen cheese tortellini (about 3 cups)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, no need to defrost
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons crème fraîche or mascarpone
- Juice of half a lemon, more or less to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A few fresh mint leaves, cut into thin slivers
- Grated parmesan (optional)
Heat a large, deep skillet with a lid** over medium-high heat. If using, add prosciutto in a single layer and cook until curling and browned underneath, about 2 minutes. Flip over and let cook until browned on the other side. Transfer a paper towel to blot oil and cool.
Add oil to same skillet and heat it for a minute. Add frozen tortellini in a single layer and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until they’re browned underneath. Sprinkle with frozen peas and add water to pan. Be careful; it’s going to ROARHISS wildly. Put the lid on, and let them steam for about 5 minutes but don’t go too far because if the water cooks off too quickly, you’ll want to add a splash more. At 5 minutes, all water should have cooked off. Scoop pasta and peas into bowl. If you find any pasta has stuck, just add a splash more water over high heat to “deglaze” them off — loosen them with a thin spatula and toss them around until they’re crisp again.
Immediately dollop on crème fraîche so it melts over the pasta. Squeeze lemon juice over, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, crumble prosciutto over (if using), then slivers of mint and Parmesan, if desired. Dig in. Give your freezer a pat on its back.