One-Pot Tortellini With Prosciutto and Peas Is for Friends

Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Cyd Raftus McDowell.

I’ve just returned from visiting friends in the French countryside where we cooked together, improvising dinner from whatever looked promising at the market that day. This is my absolute favorite way to cook: in convivial company, riffing with what the season has offered, exchanging inspiration and knowledge as we go.

Back in my own kitchen, one way to hold on to that glow of camaraderie is to enlist help from family and friends. It’s admittedly something that I, an enthusiastic alpha cook, sometimes forget to do. But sharing the work makes the process of cooking both quicker and more fun. It’s mostly a matter of dividing up the tasks.

For example, for Ali Slagle’s one-pot tortellini with prosciutto and peas, one person could fry the prosciutto into crispy, salty bits while someone else chops the shallot and measures the cream and chicken stock that will take the place of cooking water and add so much richness and flavor to the tortellini. Then everyone can sit back while the dish finishes cooking, which takes a mere 20 minutes — just enough time to enjoy a delightful beverage.

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One-Pot Tortellini With Prosciutto and Peas

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If you need to sip and chat in more depth, Von Diaz’s arroz con pollo takes two hours from start to finish. Most of that involves letting the boneless chicken thighs simmer until they soften enough to shred with a fork while the rice crisps at the bottom of the pot, absorbing the complex flavors of sofrito, tomatoes, olives and capers. That’s time enough to really dish.

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