Baked Tortellini with Peas and Ham in Cream Sauce

Happy Easter!  We spent our holiday weekend eating delicious, rich meals including my mom’s asparagus strata, Matt’s sister’s homemade strawberry shortcakes, and our very own scalloped potatoes with artichoke hearts and fontina cheese.  We decided to keep the heavy food trend going today by using some leftover ham to make baked tortellini with peas and ham in a cream sauce.  I used this recipe from the Food Network as a guide but made some of my own changes such as lightening the sauce a bit with fat-free half and half, subbing in the Easter ham for prosciutto, and broiling the individual-sized entrees in the oven just before serving.

Baked Tortellini with Peas and Ham in Cream Sauce

You will need…
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of leftover ham (or you can use prosciutto), thinly sliced in 1″ strips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fat-free half and half
Approx. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Approx. 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup peas
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese (or Parmesan/Romano blend)
12 oz. Tortellini, cooked according to package instructions
1/4 cup reserved pasta liquid

Directions:
Melt the butter in a dutch oven.  When butter is melted, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add the ham and saute for an additional 4 minutes or until the ham starts to brown slightly.  Add the heavy cream, half and half, salt and pepper and stir.  Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until cream mixture is reduced by half.

After mixture is reduced, mix in the peas and cheese, then add the tortellini and reserved liquid.  Stir well to combine, then transfer tortellini into two small baking dishes.  Broil for 4-5 minutes until top begins to brown, then remove from oven and enjoy!

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