Recipe Review

This Simple Hack Will Take Your Tortellini to the Next Level

published Jan 10, 2022
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Creamy Tortellini with spring vegetables in cast iron skillet
Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

This new year may be predicted to see an increase of croffles, buzz-less spirits, and bubble cakes, but if you’re still planning to stick with a few of your favorites, finding new ways to indulge in them is always a great idea. And for Smitten Kitchen, that meant revamping one of our favorite pastas.

The food blogger took to Instagram on January 7 to show her 1.6 million followers an ingenious pasta hack — if you cook Italian pasta like Chinese dumplings, the result will be out of this world. 

Meeting at the intersection of potstickers and tortellini, the Crispy Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto recipe is triumphant but unfussy cooking at its finest. Using frozen tortellini and peas straight from the freezer (the time-friendly recipe is only 12 minutes from pot to plate), the dish looks and tastes fancier than what you would think a bag of frozen pasta would produce. 

The thought process is brilliant. Potstickers are stuffed dumplings hailing from China that when cooked from frozen, boast just the right crispy-to-chewy ratio. Tortellini are similarly stuffed wonton-shaped pasta from Italy. Why can’t you cook them the same way to give your tortellini an exciting new texture beyond boiled?

To achieve the perfect crisp using the potsticker method, she browns the frozen tortellini in a hot skillet and then, splashing in some water, covers them to steam for a few minutes until they’re crisp at the bottom, hot all the way through.

Smitten Kitchen browns up thinly sliced prosciutto to crumble on top of the finished dish as an optional stir-in. The finishing touches also include a dollop of crème fraîche or mascarpone, a squeeze of lemon juice, slivers of fresh mint, and grated Parmesan.

Ready to give this a try? You can get the full recipe for Smitten Kitchen’s Crispy Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto here. If you like your tortellini with less of a crunch, however, you can always try our recipe for Cheese Tortellini with Salami and Marinated Veggies.