My search led me to an article published in the Gadsden Times back in 1986, where I found a recipe called Tortellini with Ham & Cheese Sauce. As I was gathering my ingredients today, I noticed that we were out of onion, so I sent my son to the store while I started chopping all the veggies-something my hubby calls mis en place. I am just guessing on that spelling.
Zucchini-I had only one, so that's all I used, and I chopped it in small pieces since my boys don't like it. I cut the whole pint of grape tomatoes into about 2 or 3 pieces each-but I had no desire to peel them, so that just didn't happen.
As to the "hot pepper" the recipe called for, I grabbed a frozen jalapeno that was from our garden last year.
Yum! Don't all the veggies and ham look so good cooking up together? I cooked it all up in basil infused olive oil since I couldn't find the regular-although I am sure it was somewhere right under my nose.
I also rarely have heavy cream at my house unless it is November or December and we plan to do a lot of baking. My coffee creamer wouldn't work-it is flavored with York Peppermint Patty. My choices: 1% milk or evaporated milk. I went with the evaporated milk. I also used the whole can-way more than it called for. I also used way more water from the tortellini than called for. Unfortunately, this made it pretty runny, but the flavor was great! It almost could have been called Tortellini Soup. I skipped out on the scallions and used extra parmesan instead. Maybe the next time I am in the mood for tortellini I will remember this yummy recipe!
Here is the recipe I typed from the newspaper article:
Tortellini with Ham & Cream Sauce
From the Gadsden Times December 3, 1986
By Pierre Franey
4 quarts water
salt to taste as desired
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 pound zucchini, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, about 2 cups
1 1/4 pounds red, ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, about 3 cups
1 tsp finely minced, seeded hot pepper, optional
1 9 ounce package fresh or dried cheese tortellini
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped scallions
1. Bring the water to a boil and add salt.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the garlic and onions. Cook briefly until wilted. Add the ham, and cook stirring, about 1 minute. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes. Add the pepper and continue cooking about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, add the tortellini to the boiling water, and cook 5 to 8 minutes or cook to the desired degree of doneness. Scoop out and reserve about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the tortellini.
4. Add the 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid to the sauce, along with the cream and cheese. Stir. Add the tortellini and blend well. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.
Yield: 4 servings