Tortellini Alfredo with broccoli is a hearty yet easy recipe to cook in less than 30 minutes. It is a creamy and healthy pasta dish to enjoy with the entire family.
Tortellini alfredo is the perfect recipe to cook on lazy days or for a Friday dinner. It’s the last working day of the week and you need something easy to cook because you’ve been working hard all week, and being stuck in the kitchen during the weekends sounds silly, right? I know how much I expect the lazy Friday evening when I know I don’t have to hurry because tomorrow I don’t have to wake up at 7 AM and swirl around in the house like a hurricane to organize everybody to get out and face a new day:)
Friday evening is my favorite time of the week, and for this time, here comes an appropriate recipe – tortellini alfredo with broccoli.
What is tortellini?
Basically, tortellini are pasta. The small pasta bites are made with flour, egg, and salt then stuffed with other ingredients such as cheese or meat. The tortellini recipe is originally from Bologna, Italy. And like any other Italian food, the tortellini are about flavorsome, texture, and tradition. No wonder tortellini are also appreciated all over the world. Moreover, they are recognized as one of the symbols of the beautiful country Italy. Quoting Wikipedia, “Italy has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine”, and tortellini is no exception.
Tortellini are really very small and stuffed with pork loin, raw ham, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and nutmeg. Obviously, there are a thousand variations of filling, which can change according to your tastes, mood, and preferences.
You can prepare the small stuffed pasta bites at home, however, to make the “authentic” tortellini, you need to know the technique, have capable hands to create tiny wraps of 1 inch in diameter. That requires time and dedication to make them perfectly. This is why it is easy and convenient to buy tortellini, and leave the hustle to the real experts. Maybe enjoy the time doing other tasks around the house. For this recipe, I took the easy way, I bought the tortellini from the store. Just make sure you buy high-quality pasta.
How to boil tortellini?
Since tortellini is a type of pasta, cook them accordingly. Fill a large pot with cold water, salt it, and put it on the stove. Close with a lid and bring the water to a boil. At this point add the tortellini to the water and gently mix to make sure they will not stick to each other. The boiling time may vary, that is why you should always follow the package instructions.
Just like in the case of pasta, the tortellini should be cooked to “al dente”. This is how you make sure they will absorb the flavor of the sauce you wish to serve them with. In our case, it is the alfredo sauce, or, in a creamy butter sauce.
Do not drain the tortellini, it is best to use a slotted spoon and transfer the boiling tortellini from the water directly into the sauce. If you do so, your pasta will never dry out.
How to cook the sauce alfredo for the tortellini?
This creamy sauce is made easy. For a touch of freshness and a bit of color, I decided to add some fresh broccoli to the sauce. The tortellini alfredo with broccoli is a perfect combination of taste and healthy ingredients.
First, wash the broccoli and cut the outer layer of florets till you cut them all. Cut the larger florets into smaller pieces to have equal-sized broccoli florets. Discard the woody stalk.
Heat a frying pan and add the butter, once it has melted, add the finely chopped garlic and sautee it. Then place the broccoli florets in the pan and saute them for a few minutes. Add a bit of the pasta water to the broccoli to avoid burning. Cover the frying pan with a lid for the heat to better penetrate the vegetable. Then, pour in the heavy cream and season with salt, garlic powder, and some ground pepper. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the boiling tortellini from the water directly into the sauce. You can make the flavor of your tortellini even more intense by sprinkling with grated cheese, such as Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino. Pour some pasta water if you think the consistency is too thick and stir.
Serve the tortellini alfredo with more parmesan and some freshly chopped parsley.
How to store tortellini alfredo?
Tortellini alfredo, or with any other sauce can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a couple of days at the most. Before being served again, however, heat them in a pan. Add a bit of water so that they are as soft and juicy as they were when you freshly prepared them.
Tortellini Alfredo with Broccoli
- 9 oz tortellini cheese
- 1 head broccoli
- 2 tbsp butter
- 8 oz heavy cream
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 cup parmesan grated
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- Fill a boiling pan with water, salt it and bring it to a boil
- Boil the tortellini according to the package instructions
- Wash the broccoli and cut the outer layer of florets
- Heat a pan and melt the butter
- Mince the garlic and sauté in the butter for about 1 minute
- Add the broccoli florets, cook for 5 minutes
- Add pasta water to avoid burning the broccoli
- Pour the heavy cream and season
- Use a slotted spoon and transfer the boiling tortellini from the water directly into the sauce
- Add grated parmesan and mix
- Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley
- Serve with pleasure