Tortellini Alla Panna is a 30-minute masterpiece in cheesy comfort food. This easy Italian dish is restaurant quality in minutes.
What Is Tortellini Alla Panna?
If you’ve never heard of it, Tortellini alla Panna means simply “tortellini with cream”. It’s quick, easy and delicious. You can serve it for lunch or dinner. Add a side salad and breadsticks for the complete package.
It’s hard to believe that these few ingredients will produce something so delicious. If I closed my eyes, I could imagine that I was sitting at a fancy restaurant.
- Tortellini. This is a dried tortellini, making it easy to keep in your pantry. See below for other tortellini choices.
- Diced Ham. These packages of ham are already diced, making things so easy. If you prefer, you can use leftover ham or buy ham steaks.
- Heavy Cream. This is heavy whipping cream. I’ve used half-n-half in the past, but it’s not as thick and creamy. For this dish, I prefer the heavy cream. It makes a thicker sauce without adding thickeners like flour or cornstarch.
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- Butter. I only had salted butter but you can use unsalted butter instead. I didn’t use any extra salt in the recipe because I think everything else has salt and I didn’t need any more. You definitely won’t miss it.
- Parmesan Cheese. Do yourself a favor and buy a small block of parmesan instead of something already shredded at the store. You want it to melt. I’ve got nothing against bagged shredded Parmesan, but for this recipe, you want it to melt completely. I promise that you will be much happier.
Dried, Frozen or Fresh Tortellini?
I love all tortellini. It doesn’t matter if it’s dried, frozen or fresh. I can happily eat them all. I don’t even think I have a favorite. I just use whatever is available.
The only adjustments I make would be in the amounts. For instance, I’m using a 12-ounce bag of dried tortellini. For frozen or fresh, I would use 15 ounces.
Although I’ve used diced ham, I would love to use prosciutto instead. Prosciutto is delicious. Unfortunately, around my area of the United States, it’s not easy to find fresh sliced prosciutto. I would want to get about a ¼″ thick slice to dice at home.
I wonder if a smoked pork chop would be too strong? I’ve seen them available in the freezer section.
Another variation I’ve seen is adding frozen green peas. I’ve not had a chance to try it yet, but it would add a nice color. Frozen peas are such a bright, beautiful green.
Try adding fresh, chopped baby spinach or basil. Try diced chicken instead of diced ham. Artichoke hearts would be delicious, especially if you add spinach.
Use your imagination and open the refrigerator to see what you have available.
If you love pasta as much as I do, browse through my Easy Pasta Recipes. Or, pick one of these favorites.
- Marry Me Chicken Pasta Recipe
- Mexican Green Spaghetti Recipe
- Fried Prosciutto and Mushrooms Dinner
- Zucchini Pasta Sauce
- Paglia e Fieno Pasta Dinner
You may also want to try it with fresh Homemade Baguettes!
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For more information, be sure to check the recipe details in the attached 24Bite® post.
- 12 ounces Tortellini, dried
- 3 tablespoons Butter
- 8 ounces Ham, diced
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- 1 cup Parmesan, fresh, grated
- Prepare tortellini according to package instructions. Drain but save ½ cup pasta water. Set aside.
- Add butter to large skillet over medium heat. Allow to melt then add diced ham. Sear lightly, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in cream and pasta water. Bring to light boil and allow to reduce, about 2-3 minutes.
- Separate out about 2 tablespoons Parmesan to a separate bowl and set aside. Slowly stir in remaining Parmesan, about ⅓ at a time until melted, about 2 minutes. Stir in pepper.
- Remove from heat. Add tortellini and toss together until well coated. Sprinkle the small amount of Parmesan you've set aside on the top when serving.
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Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. All amounts are estimates and 24Bite® takes no responsibility for actual figures since calculations vary by packaging and supplier. Please calculate the amounts yourself based on package labeling if you have specific dietary requirements. 24Bite®, Kim Guzman or Christian Guzman shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on this website or actions you take as a result.
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