Monday, April 7, 2014

You’ve Got Time for This: Tortellini with Shrimp & Peas Please

I can happily spend an entire afternoon in the kitchen.  The planning, shopping, sorting - turn up the music - and hours and hours later of listening, dancing around, AND cooking a great meal emerges.  

It’s sort of my thing!  
HOWEVER, with new baby in tow, delicious and easy quick fixes have completely won our hearts, and stomachs.

Eating dinner at 9:00 p.m. after a long day?
Even Sweet Brown would agree, ain’t nobody got time for that!
At least not every day!

Tortellini with Shrimp & Peas Please
Yield: Serves 4, 2 if you’re really hungry!

The Method: The Ingredients
The brilliant thing about this meal is what you see here is what you get.  It is a one pot wonder. Add a sprinkle of salt, finish with optional grated parmesan cheese, and you’ll be smiling ear to ear.  

In unison, we chorused over our plates, “This is delicious”.  
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ large or 1 small onion, finely chopped
½ large or 1 small poblano pepper, finely chopped
1 12oz bag of three cheese dry tortellini
1 lb. large frozen peeled and deveined shrimp
1 10oz box of frozen garden peas
Kosher salt (or favorite all-purpose seasoning)

The Madness: The Assembly

Defrost shrimp by placing them in to a bowl of iced water, remove the tail shell tips. Set aside.  

Cook the tortellini according to the packaging instructions, decreasing the cook time by about 1 minute, approximately 9 minutes in boiling water.  The last minute of the pasta finishes when it has been added to the shrimp and vegetables.

Once your vegetables have been chopped, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat in a heavy bottom pot or skillet. I prefer using my 12” large cast iron skillet. It creates massive flavor and is virtually THE all-purpose pot in my eyes. Add the minced onion and poblano pepper.  If the onion and poblano start to brown around the edges, lower the temperature of your stove. You don’t want to add too much color to the vegetables in this dish. Sauté the onion and poblano until they wilt and start to become translucent, approximately 5 - 7 minutes, then add the minced garlic.

Keeping it Real Disclosure:

Poblanos are my favorite green pepper. You will find that I use them ALL the time in place of the ubiquitous regular green peppers. Poblano peppers are savory, typically very mild chili peppers that originate in Mexico.  They bring flavor to any party. I also prefer to add minced garlic to sautéing vegetables once the primary vegetables have cooked a little. Over cooked garlic burns and becomes bitter in my opinion when added to a hot pan too soon.

Once the garlic has been added, sauté for an additional 1 – 2 minutes, until the garlic has softened, become cooked through, and has been fully incorporated into the onions and peppers. Add the frozen peas to the cooked onions, peppers and garlic. Top the vegetables with a pinch of kosher salt.  Sauté the vegetables together until the peas have been fully incorporated and warmed through, 2 – 5 minutes, depending on whether or not the peas were set out to defrost as the vegetables were chopped and prepped.

Drain, rinse, and dry the defrosted shrimp with a couple paper towels. Season the shrimp with paprika and salt, or your favorite all-purpose seasoning, approximately 1 teaspoon.

Add and sauté the shrimp in with the vegetables, cook approximately 2 – 3 minutes, until the shrimp just start to appear pink and become opaque.

Keeping It Real Disclosure:
I love fresh vegetables. I eat fresh vegetables whenever and as often as I can. I feel the same about seafood. However, we are in the year of the never ending winter. In my opinion frozen peas and shrimp are the best of their frozen counterparts. They cook well, and maintain great integrity when compared to fresh.

Add the final 1 tablespoon of butter to the sautéed vegetables and shrimp, stir to melt and fully incorporate. At this point you will see a luscious buttery sauce begin to collect. Add the cooked tortellini.

Stir to Warm through the pasta, and finish cooking the shrimp, approximately 1 – 2 minutes.

It is now time to eat! If you’re feeling cheesy a sprinkle of parmesan cheese never hurt anyone.

As always, Enjoy!

xo, Bon Appégeechee


  1. Now THIS looks amazing. Shrimp is so versatile, and peas are in season, so I am SO making this! Beautiful!

  2. Love a quick and easy meal and anything with shrimp! So happy to have found your blog :)
    There's no place like the South Carolina Low Country. We are hoping to head down to Port Royal this weekend for the Soft Shell Crab Festival. Have a great week!

  3. Soft Shell Crab Season is my FAVORITE time of the year! I might lose my mind at a festival (in a good way)
    pleasure finding your blog as well. I look forward to keeping in touch, and seeing photos and inspirations from your weekend!!