It was one of those nights when dinner needed to be on the table as fast as I could possibly manage it. My man Dave was ravenous, and hanging out in the kitchen is usually next to impossible for him in that state. At times like this he dives into whatever he can find (like chips and hummus, even popcorn) and ends up ruining his appetite.
I implored him not to go down that road, and I swore I would have dinner sitting in front of him in 15 minutes.
I was able to promise this because I had cooked ham in the fridge (I never have), and a package of six-cheese tortellini. I had just been to my favorite shop in the world and gave in to all sorts of instant delights.
Those ingredients, along with some trusty frozen baby peas, and fresh herbs, helped me to put my money where my mouth was; a fabulous 15-minute-to-make-dinner!
By the way; delicious…
You will need: 1/2 lb good quality ham (double-smoked or black Forest are good choices), 3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, 4 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 cup baby peas (I used frozen), 1 tbs unsalted butter, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 4 cups cheese tortellini, (you can find this in good quality supermarkets), 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated, cracked black pepper & sea-salt to taste.
1 – Put big saute pan on medium heat and add the broth, thyme sprigs, parsley, and peas. Bring to a simmer.
2 – Cover with lid and simmer for 4 minutes.
*Put water on for tortellini and cook according to instructions. Do not rinse in cold water after draining*
3 – Add cream and return to a simmer. Add ham and several grinds of black pepper. Bring back to a simmer and taste for addition of sea-salt. Add if you deem it necessary.
4 – When tortellini is cooked, add directly into sauce and stir in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, along with the butter.
Serve immediately with more cheese and black pepper.