Of course, you can use fresh tortellini from the deli counter. They work beautifully with this dish.
Bursting with flavor, I added some sweet peas. You know how I feel about peas; I love them. Therefore, any occasion to incorporate them into a dish is a good one to enjoy them.
This recipe requires canned peas; of course, you can substitute with frozen peas. However, let them cook a bit longer with the butter over medium heat. They need to be tender to the bite but not mushy.
Cooking the tortellini will take no time at all.
Always reserve a cup of cooking water before draining the pasta. It contains all the starches from the pasta, and if your sauce is a bit on dry sauce, the cooking water will come in handy to soften the sauce.
Do not worry if your mascarpone will melt, it is supposed to do so.
I also use parmesan cheese in this dish, which is a great counter-balance to the mascarpone soft taste and offers it a burst of added flavor.
If you have a choice at your grocery store, buy the parmesan cheese you can grate. You will love the fresh flavor of it, and you know what you are getting.
My personal choice: I do not mix the parmesan cheese with the peas and mascarpone sauce. I do not like to fight with my food while I try to fold in the sauce. Because the parmesan melts, it makes it harder to stir the pasta properly.
However, grated over the top at serving time, it is much more pleasant.
You can substitute the tortellini with fettuccine or linguini pasta.
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Meanwhile, in a medium-size skillet, melt the butter and add the canned peas. Season with salt and pepper and cook until warm. If using frozen peas, cook a bit longer. They need to be soft but not mushy.
Once the tortellini are cooked and drained, return them to the cooking pan and add the peas and mascarpone. Mix and fold the pasta with the sauce to soften it.
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Originally published on March 10, 2020, updated on November 8, 2021