Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Tortellini with Double Cream, Peas and Ham

Tortellini Panna, Piselli e Prosciutto is a classic primo piatto of the Italian tradition, creamy and tasty. Cubes of cooked ham are used, either ready-made ones for convenience or a thick slice then cut into cubes. Fresh peas are always welcome, but so are the bagged frozen ones. We have just added a personal variation, namely some chopped mint leaves to add a touch of freshness.

Serves 4, Preparation 15 mins, Cooking 25 mins

  • 400 g Tortellini
  • 120 g fresh or frozen peas
  • A thick slice of cooked ham to dice or 150 g of packet shredded ham
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1 white or red onion, to slice
  • 3 tbsp of EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • a tbsp of grated Parmigiano cheese
  • Optional, 3 to 4 Mint leaves to chop
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Cut the ham into small cubes, set aside. Chop up mint leaves.

Fill a pot with salted water, bring it to boil and boil peas if you are using the fresh ones for about 10 mins, otherwise just defrost the pre-packed frozen ones which you’ll add directly in the pan.

Drain peas, put them in a bowl. Do not throw away cooking water as you’ll use it to cook Tortellini.

Lightly brown the sliced onion in a non-stick pan with 3 tbsp of EVOO, add a bit of water if necessary.

Add cubed ham and sautéeing it for 2 mins.

Add boiled peas, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, add minced mint leaves and cook few mins.

Dilute a bit the double cream with a drop of cooking water, add a tbsp of grated Parmigiano cheese, stir, then add it into the pan with peas and ham, stir over a low heat and mix everything together.

Boil Tortellini for 3-4 minutes, drain and pour into the pan with the sauce.


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