This recipe is from RVer & chef Christina Stawiasz whose blog Thyme and Timber Life chronicles her love for cooking outdoors.

This evening called for something easy “peas-y”.  It was cheese tortellini with pancetta and peas kind of night. I reached for the frozen peas in the freezer, raided the fridge where I found Buitoni three cheese tortellini, diced pancetta, arugula, and thyme. There you have it, that’s how this dish came to be.

Boil your water and cook the tortellini to al dente following the package directions, saving half a cup of cooking liquid to help create the sauce, I drained then rinsed the pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process and tossed in a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking. After setting that aside, I moved outdoors and fired up my travel grill. Having everything else prepped and ready to go it was a breeze from then on.

I heated up my cast iron pan, added a small drizzle of oil, and sautéed the pancetta for 4-5 minutes, until slightly crisp. Reducing the heat to medium I then added the onion and sautéed 3-4 minutes, until translucent. If you haven’t gotten to know me yet, I’m a garlic fan. So I tossed in that garlic until it was aromatic, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Next, add white wine and simmer for 5 minutes followed with the cream. Stir and bring it back to a simmer, 2-3 minutes. Add butter and frozen peas, stirring until the butter is melted through.

Now it’s time to make this meal complete. Add your al dente tortellini, arugula, Parmesan cheese, thyme, and toss with 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of reserved pasta water until you reach your desired sauce consistency. Heat through and once the arugula begins to wilt you’re ready to serve!

Cheese Tortellini w/Pancetta & Peas

Cheese Tortellini with Pancetta and Peas

  • 2 tsp olive oil + a drizzle for pasta
  • 1 9 oz package of cheese tortellini, cooked to package directions (reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid)
  • 1 4oz package of diced pancetta or diced prosciutto
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 sprigs thyme (leaves removed and stems discarded)
  • 1 cup arugula (packed)
  1. Prepare tortellini according to packaged direction reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain and rinse the tortellini in cold water to stop the cooking process. Gently toss with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoon of olive oil to a hot cast iron pan before adding diced pancetta. Sauté pancetta for 4-5 minutes or until slightly crisp.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add onion and sauté 3-4 minutes, until translucent.
  4. Stir in garlic cooking until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
  5. Next add white wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in cream and bring it back to a simmer, 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add butter and frozen peas, stirring until butter is melted through.
  8. Finally add tortellini, Parmesan, arugula and thyme and gently toss together until fully incorporated, adding 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup reserved pasta water until reaching desired sauce consistency.

Alternatively this dish can be made via stove top with cast iron or sauté pan.
Add salt to taste, keep in mind that pancetta or prosciutto is on the salty side.
If you don’t have arugula or can’t find it in the grocery store, you can substitute with spinach.

Looking for more campground recipes? Check out our Camp Recipes section a collection of easy and deliucious camping meals.