Ask your kids to make a selection from an Italian restaurant menu and, nine times out of ten, tortellini alfredo is what they’ll want to eat. Cheesy and creamy with soft pillows of cheese- or pork-filled tortellini pasta. It has kid favorite written all over it.
Well, lucky for your kids (and for you!), the recipe for Tortellini Alfredo is so easy that they won’t have to wait to dine out to enjoy it. They can make this beloved pasta classic by themselves. This recipe from The Complete Junior Chef cookbook (2019) stars Parmesan cheese and heavy cream in a delicious recipe developed exclusively for young cooks, with simple step-by-step instructions and easy-to-find ingredients. So, the next time everyone’s asking what’s for dinner, your junior chef will be ready with a classic pasta dish the whole family will want to eat.
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1 package (9 oz) store-bought refrigerated tortellini
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas or diced ham (optional)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
- MAKE THE SAUCE
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, 1/2 cup cheese, butter, a pinch each of salt and pepper, and the nutmeg (if using). Heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the cheese and butter are melted. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
- COOK THE PASTA
While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt and then the tortellini. Reduce the heat to medium-high and boil the tortellini gently until tender, 3–4 minutes or according to the package directions. Add the peas or ham (if using) during the last 1 minute of cooking. Drain the tortellini in a colander set in the sink.
- TOSS THE PASTA WITH THE SAUCE & SERVE
Immediately transfer the tortellini to a serving bowl. Top the tortellini with the sauce and stir, turning the pasta gently to coat it evenly with the sauce. Sprinkle with more cheese and the parsley, if using. Serve hot.