Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thrifty Tasty Tuesday: Tortellini with Peas

            It was an incredibly busy weekend for me. I was at the theatre most of Saturday and Sunday in preparation for the show I’m directing. It opens in less than two weeks. I doubted I would be able to get my act together enough to write a Thrifty-Tasty-Tuesday for this week. That’s the challenge with healthy eating, isn’t it? It’s easy to eat healthy when you have all the time in the world to chop and simmer. But for most of us, time is as valuable as money. So I realized this was a week that I most needed to test the bounds of TTT.
            When I was a kid, my mother made something she called Piselle e Pasta—a fancy name for a simple dish of peas and small shell shaped pasta. She’d toss in some sautéed onion and ham if there was any leftover. My version, using tortellini is very tasty, super easy and has only four ingredients. My kids love it and I can throw dinner together in a matter of minutes and still get to rehearsal (or Cub Scouts or baseball practice) on time.

Tortellini with Peas

1 16-ounce package of frozen peas
2 13-ounce packages of frozen cheese tortellini
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus additional for serving
1/4-cup olive oil
  • Cook peas according to package directions.
  • Cook tortellini in salted water for one minute less than the package directions indicate.
  • When tortellini is almost cooked, use a measuring cup to remove about 1/2 cup of cooking water.
  • Drain tortellini.
  • In the pot you cooked the tortellini, pour olive oil.
  • Return the tortellini to the pot with peas, cheese and 1/4 cup of cooking water
  • Cook for another minute or so, stirring gently until the cheese, water & olive oil become a slightly creamy sauce. If the tortellini seems dry, add additional cooking water.
  • Season with a little black pepper and serve