Top | Newsletter featured recipes

Tortellini with Fresh Peas and Ham in a Creamy Tarragon Sauce

(recipe, Hillsdale Farmers' Market)


This is a great dish to celebrate the first English peas that come to the market in spring. The recipe comes from The Farm to Table Cookbook by Ivy Manning.


  1. 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  2. 2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  3. ⅓ cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  4. 4 oz. Black Forest ham, rind removed, julienned
  5. 2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves, stemmed and finely chopped
  6. 2 cups cream
  7. 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini
  8. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  9. 1 cup shelled English peas
  10. 2 pinches nutmeg
  11. ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat; add the shallot and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the vermouth and simmer until almost all the liquid is gone. Add the ham, tarragon, and cream; bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer (Do not cook in rapidly boiling water or the pasta may burst open). Cook until tender, 3 to 7 minutes depending on their size and the thickness of the pasta.
  3. Drain the tortellini and transfer to the cream sauce; stir in the peas and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute. Season with the salt and pepper, sprinkle with the cheese, and serve.