Tortellini a la Creme with Ham and Mushrooms

Tortellini a la Creme with Ham and Mushrooms-- Schuler's

2 lbs. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 C. sliced button mushrooms
1/2 C. asparagus tips
3/4 C. heavy whipping cream
1/2 C. ham, thinly sliced into julienne strips
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Cook the tortellini in salted rapidly boiling water until they begin to float to the surface.  They should still be springy to the touch.  Remove the tortellini from the water and shock them with cold water to stop the cooking process.

2.  In a large saute' pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  (If you don't have a large pan, you will need to do this in two separate batches.)  Add the garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, and ham to the pan and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are beginning to brown.  More browning means more flavor, but the trade-off is that your garlic could burn and turn your dish bitter, so be careful!

3. Add the whipping cream, turn up the heat, and let the whipping cream reduce by half.  Add the Parmesan and tortellini to the pan and shake, flip, or stir the ingredients around to coat the pasta.  Heat the tortellinis through, salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.  Garnish with a fresh chopped herb of your choosing.  Experience tells me this dish goes superbly with a Kronnbourg beer or semidry Alsatian Riesling.