Tortellini alla Panna is one of my favorite easy Italian pasta dishes. Similar in taste to Alfredo sauce, this easy cheesy dish takes under 20 minutes to make and is out of control delicious. I like adding peas for a pop of freshness but you could leave them out if you'd like!
Tortellini alla panna is essentially just tortellinis cooked in cream. It's a ridiculously easy yet extremely decadent dish that's super tasty.
To be truthful, the cream-based parmesan sauce is pretty much the same thing as alfredo so you know it's going to be delicious!
If you use frozen tortellinis in this recipe, like I do, you can literally make this entire dish in under 20 minutes.
But you'd like to make your own cheese tortellini, I'd recommend checking out this recipe by the Kitchn.
In all honestly, what I like most about this dish is how incredibly simple it is... so because of that, I recommend keeping it that way by using premade tortellini.
But you could also use fresh, pre-made tortellini, too.
If you're doing that, simply add the peas to the boiling water 2 minutes before fresh tortellinis are added. That way they cook through in time.
- frozen cheese tortellini
- frozen peas
- salted butter
- heavy cream
- parmesan cheese
- kosher salt
How to make creamy parmesan sauce
Making a rich and velvety parmesan cream sauce is super simple!
To begin, add salted butter to a skillet and turn the heat to medium.
Add shallots and a pinch of salt cook for 3 minutes or until softened and fragrant.
Next, turn the heat down to medium-low and stir in the heavy cream. Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.
Now add ¼ cup of grated parmesan and stir until melted. Repeat this process 3 more times for a total of one cup. This will thicken the sauce even more.
Now add in the boiled tortellinis and peas and a sprinkle of salt. Gently toss and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
NOTE: If the sauce is a little dry, add 2 tbsp of pasta water and stir over medium low heat. If it’s still dry, at 2 more tbsp and repeat process until it’s smooth and luscious.
I recommend serving the tortellini alla panna with more parmesan when plating.
How to Reheat
Microwave: Place tortellini in a microwave safe bowl and add a splash of cream (or milk) and cover the bowl with a paper towel. Heat the pasta up for 1 minute and stir. Add another minute and cook until warm. Stir and let cool before eating.
Stovetop: Add 2 tbsp of cream (or milk) to a sauce pan and turn the heat to medium. Add tortellini and cook for 2-5 minutes, stirring often, until heated through.
Oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add tortellini to a greased baking dish and top with 2 tbsp of heavy cream (or milk). Heat for 5-10 minutes, uncovered, until hot.
What to serve it with
If you need an easy italian-esque appetizer to serve it with, try my guide to making a Cheap Cheese and Charcuterie Board.
Since this is a rather rich dish, I recommend serving this dish with my favorite Kale and Avocado Salad.
As for cocktails, I recommend pairing it with this bright and bubbly Raspberry Gin Mule.
And lastly, for dessert, it's always a win to pair any Italian dish with my favorite Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Bars.
Save this recipe for later
Tortellini alla Panna Recipe
Tortellini alla panna
- 1 bag about 1.2lbs frozen cheese tortellini
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 4 tbsp salted butter
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Parmesan grated plus more for serving
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Bring salted water to a boil and add frozen tortellini and frozen peas. Cook for 3 minutes and strain - reserve 1 cup leftover pasta water.
- In a medium pan over medium heat, cook butter and minced shallot for 3 minutes.
- Add heavy cream and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Add ¼ cup of parmesan at a time (1 cup total) and stir until melted. Continue same process with remaining cheese until creamy and melted.
- Add in the cooked tortellinis and peas. Add salt and gently toss oncemore. If the sauce is a little dry, add 2 tbsp of pasta water and stir over medium low heat. If it’s still dry, at 2 more tbsp and repeat process until it’s smooth and luscious.
- Serve with more parmesan for plating.