Tortellini With Creamy White Sauce Recipe

This tortellini with creamy white sauce recipe is a divine blend of cheesy tortellini and crisp asparagus enveloped in a rich, creamy white sauce. The inclusion of fresh spinach and artichoke hearts add a touch of earthiness, resulting in a luxurious, comforting dish that's easy to make and pleasing to the palate.

Tortellini With Creamy White Sauce Recipe
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The ingredients for this recipe are pretty standard and can easily be found in most grocery stores. However, please note that parmigiano-reggiano cheese is a specific type of hard, granular cheese that's often used in Italian dishes. It's worth seeking out for its rich, nutty flavor. Also, artichoke hearts can typically be found canned in the vegetable aisle.

Ingredients for Tortellini with Creamy White Sauce

Cooking spray: Used to prevent the food from sticking to the casserole pan.

Cheese tortellini: Small pasta stuffed with cheese, the star of this dish.

Asparagus: Adds a fresh, crisp component.

Butter: Used as the base for the white sauce.

All-purpose flour: Works with butter to thicken the sauce.

Vegetable stock: Provides a flavorful liquid for the sauce.

Nutmeg: Adds a hint of warm, nutty flavor.

Heavy whipping cream: Gives the sauce its rich, creamy texture.

Parmigiano-reggiano cheese: Enhances the sauce with a salty, nutty taste.

Olive oil: Used for sautéing the garlic, spinach, and artichoke hearts.

Garlic: Adds a savory flavor.

Fresh spinach: Provides a mild, earthy flavor and plenty of nutrients.

Artichoke hearts: Offers a slightly sweet, slightly tangy flavor.

Italian cheese blend: Melts on top to create a cheesy crust.

One reader, Emilio Corder says:

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This tortellini with creamy white sauce recipe is a game-changer! The combination of tender tortellini, fresh asparagus, and the rich, velvety white sauce is simply divine. The flavors are perfectly balanced, and the dish is so comforting. It's a definite winner for any dinner table!

Emilio Corder

Key Techniques for Mastering Tortellini with Creamy White Sauce

How to prepare tortellini and asparagus: Boil the tortellini and asparagus in lightly salted water until the tortellini float to the top, then drain and rinse in cold water.

How to make white sauce: Melt butter, whisk in flour, then gradually add stock and nutmeg, followed by heavy cream and parmigiano-reggiano cheese, heating until thick and bubbly.

How to sauté spinach and artichoke hearts: Heat olive oil, add garlic, then cook and stir in spinach and artichoke hearts until heated through.

How to assemble and bake: Combine the tortellini-asparagus mixture and spinach mixture in a casserole pan, pour the white sauce over the mixture, top with Italian cheese blend, and cook under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browned.

How To Make Vegetables and Tortellini with Cream Sauce

This vegetables and tortellini pasta is a real crowd-pleaser! Tortellini and asparagus are cooked with a creamy savory sauce made from vegetable stock.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 24ozcheese tortellini,frozen
  • 1bunchasparagus,diced

For White Sauce:

  • 2tbspbutter
  • 2tbspall purpose flour
  • 2cupsvegetable stock
  • ¼tspnutmeg
  • ½cupheavy whipping cream
  • ½cupParmigiano-Reggiano cheese,shredded
  • 2tbspolive oil
  • 4clovesgarlic,minced
  • 1lbfresh spinach,stemmed and chopped
  • 15ozartichoke hearts,(1 can) drained and quartered
  • 2cupsItalian cheese blend,shredded

Instructions

  1. Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler on high heat. Lightly spray a large casserole pan with cooking spray.

  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add tortellini and asparagus and cook in the boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes until tortellini float to the top. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.

  3. Melt butter in a medium-sized pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth.

  4. Whisk in stock and nutmeg in the flour mixture and heat for about 5 minutes until bubbly. Add cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.

  5. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add spinach and artichoke hearts. Cook and stir for 5 minutes until heated through.

  6. Combine cooked tortellini-asparagus mixture and spinach mixture in the prepared casserole pan. Mix thoroughly but gently so tortellini don’t get mashed. Pour white sauce over the mixture and top with Italian cheese blend.

  7. Cook under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and browned. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

  8. Serve warm and enjoy.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 839.33kcal
  • Fat: 47.46g
  • Saturated Fat: 22.70g
  • Trans Fat: 0.67g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 16.55g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.72g
  • Carbohydrates: 70.61g
  • Fiber: 8.60g
  • Sugar: 3.65g
  • Protein: 36.51g
  • Cholesterol: 138.28mg
  • Sodium: 1065.62mg
  • Calcium: 752.37mg
  • Potassium: 936.99mg
  • Iron: 5.84mg
  • Vitamin A: 670.60µg
  • Vitamin C: 32.60mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting the Creamy White Sauce

When making the creamy white sauce, it's important to whisk the flour into the butter until it's completely smooth before adding the vegetable stock. This process, known as making a roux, is crucial for ensuring your sauce has a smooth and creamy texture. If the flour isn't fully incorporated into the butter, the sauce may end up with lumps. Additionally, adding the heavy whipping cream and parmigiano-reggiano cheese gradually while stirring constantly will help to create a rich, velvety sauce that coats the tortellini perfectly.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Tortellini Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the white sauce and cook the tortellini and asparagus in advance to save time when assembling the dish.

Use pre-washed spinach: Opt for pre-washed spinach to skip the step of washing and drying the spinach leaves.

Multitask: While the tortellini and asparagus are cooking, start preparing the white sauce to make the process more efficient.

Buy pre-chopped garlic: Using pre-chopped garlic can save time and effort in the preparation process.

Invest in a good quality vegetable stock: Using a high-quality store-bought vegetable stock can save time compared to making it from scratch.

Opt for pre-shredded cheese: Using pre-shredded cheese can save time and effort in the preparation process.

Use frozen artichoke hearts: Consider using frozen artichoke hearts to save time on prepping fresh ones.

Choose pre-grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese: Opt for pre-grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese to save time on grating it yourself.

Prep in bulk: Consider doubling the recipe and freezing the extra portions for future quick and convenient meals.

Invest in a good quality casserole pan: Using a high-quality casserole pan can help ensure even cooking and prevent sticking, saving time and effort in the long run.

Substitute Ingredients For Tortellini With Creamy White Sauce Recipe

  • cheese tortellini - Substitute with butternut squash tortellini: Butternut squash tortellini can be used as a healthier alternative with a similar texture and flavor profile.
  • asparagus - Substitute with broccolini: Broccolini has a similar texture and flavor to asparagus, making it a suitable substitute in this recipe.
  • butter - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can be used as a healthier alternative to butter in the white sauce, providing a different flavor profile.
  • all purpose flour - Substitute with gluten-free flour: Gluten-free flour can be used for those with dietary restrictions, providing a suitable thickening agent for the white sauce.
  • vegetable stock - Substitute with chicken stock: Chicken stock can be used for a richer flavor profile in the white sauce, adding depth to the dish.
  • nutmeg - Substitute with cinnamon: Cinnamon can be used as a warm and aromatic alternative to nutmeg, adding a different dimension to the white sauce.
  • heavy whipping cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can be used as a dairy-free alternative, providing a rich and creamy texture to the white sauce.
  • parmigiano-reggiano cheese - Substitute with pecorino romano cheese: Pecorino romano cheese can be used as a slightly saltier alternative, adding a distinct flavor to the white sauce.
  • olive oil - Substitute with ghee: Ghee can be used for a richer and nuttier flavor in the recipe, adding a unique depth to the dish.
  • garlic - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used to provide a milder and sweeter flavor compared to garlic in the recipe.
  • fresh spinach - Substitute with kale: Kale can be used as a heartier alternative to spinach, adding a robust texture and flavor to the dish.
  • artichoke hearts - Substitute with sun-dried tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes can be used to provide a tangy and savory element to the recipe, adding depth to the dish.
  • italian cheese blend - Substitute with mozzarella cheese: Mozzarella cheese can be used as a milder and creamier alternative, complementing the flavors of the dish.

Presentation Tips for a Delightful Tortellini Dish

  1. Elevate the tortellini: Carefully arrange the tortellini and asparagus in a circular pattern on the plate, creating a visually appealing presentation.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle finely chopped parsley and chives over the tortellini to add a pop of color and a touch of freshness to the dish.

  3. Create a drizzle design: Use a small spoon to drizzle the creamy white sauce in an artistic pattern around the edge of the plate, adding a touch of elegance to the presentation.

  4. Add a sprinkle of edible flowers: Place a few edible flowers, such as pansies or nasturtiums, strategically around the plate to bring a delicate and beautiful element to the dish.

  5. Incorporate a touch of gold leaf: For a luxurious touch, delicately place a small piece of edible gold leaf on top of the tortellini to add a hint of glamour to the presentation.

  6. Use a unique serving dish: Consider serving the tortellini in a stylish, contemporary dish that complements the colors and textures of the dish, enhancing the overall visual appeal.

  7. Create height with asparagus spears: Stand a few asparagus spears upright on the plate to add dimension and create an eye-catching presentation that showcases the key ingredients.

  8. Finish with a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano: Just before serving, grate a small amount of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top of the dish, adding a final touch of sophistication and flavor.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Tortellini

  • Cooking spray: A non-stick spray used to coat pans and dishes to prevent food from sticking.
  • Large casserole pan: A deep, oven-safe dish used for baking and serving casseroles.
  • Large pot: A large, deep cooking vessel used for boiling, simmering, and cooking large quantities of food.
  • Medium-sized pan: A versatile pan used for sautéing, frying, and making sauces.
  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for blending, whipping, and stirring ingredients together.
  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking, roasting, and broiling food.
  • Broiler: A part of the oven used for cooking food with high, direct heat.
  • Colander: A bowl-shaped kitchen tool with small holes used for draining liquids from food.
  • Grater: A tool used to grate cheese or vegetables into fine pieces.
  • Knife: A sharp cutting tool used for slicing, chopping, and dicing ingredients.
  • Cutting board: A flat surface used for cutting and preparing food.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Tools used for accurately measuring ingredients in cooking and baking.
  • Mixing spoon: A long-handled spoon used for mixing and stirring ingredients.
  • Baking dish: A dish used for baking and serving various types of food, such as casseroles and desserts.
  • Saucepan: A deep cooking pan with a long handle and a lid, used for making sauces and heating liquids.
  • Skillet: A flat-bottomed pan with sloping sides, used for frying, sautéing, and searing food.
  • Baking sheet: A flat, rectangular metal pan used for baking and roasting food in the oven.
  • Spatula: A kitchen tool with a broad, flat, flexible blade used for lifting and flipping food.
  • Tongs: A kitchen tool with two arms and a pivot used for gripping and lifting hot or delicate food items.

Storage and Freezing Guidelines for Tortellini with Creamy White Sauce

  • Let the tortellini with creamy white sauce cool down to room temperature before storing or freezing. This will prevent the formation of excess moisture and help maintain the texture of the dish.

  • To store in the refrigerator:

    • Transfer the cooled tortellini and sauce into an airtight container.
    • Place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming.
    • Seal the container tightly with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To freeze:

    • Divide the cooled tortellini and sauce into individual serving-sized portions in freezer-safe containers or resealable bags.
    • If using containers, place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce to prevent freezer burn.
    • Remove as much air as possible from the bags or containers before sealing to minimize the risk of freezer burn.
    • Label the containers or bags with the date and contents for easy identification.
    • Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  • To reheat from the refrigerator:

    • Transfer the desired portion of tortellini and sauce into a microwave-safe dish.
    • Cover the dish with a damp paper towel to prevent the pasta from drying out.
    • Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until heated through.
    • Alternatively, you can reheat the dish in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.
  • To reheat from frozen:

    • Remove the frozen tortellini and sauce from the container or bag and place it in a microwave-safe dish.
    • Cover the dish with a damp paper towel to prevent the pasta from drying out.
    • Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, stirring halfway through, until heated through.
    • If the sauce appears too thick after reheating, add a splash of milk or cream to help thin it out and restore its creamy texture.

How To Reheat Leftover Tortellini with Creamy White Sauce

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the leftover tortellini with creamy white sauce into an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes to allow the top to crisp up slightly. This method helps maintain the texture of the tortellini and prevents the sauce from drying out.

  • For a quicker option, use the microwave. Place the leftover tortellini with creamy white sauce in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until heated to your desired temperature. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the tortellini to become rubbery and the sauce to separate.

  • If you have a stovetop and a bit more time, reheat the tortellini with creamy white sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add a splash of milk or cream to help loosen the sauce and prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir gently and continuously until the dish is heated through, being careful not to mash the tortellini. This method allows you to control the consistency of the sauce and ensures even heating.

  • For a crispy twist, transform your leftover tortellini with creamy white sauce into a pasta bake. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Transfer the leftovers to an oven-safe dish and top with a mixture of breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the dish is heated through. This method adds a delightful crunch to the creamy tortellini.

Interesting Trivia About Tortellini with Creamy White Sauce

The creamy white sauce in this recipe is a versatile base that can be used in various pasta dishes, such as fettuccine Alfredo or creamy garlic parmesan chicken.

Budget-Friendly: Is This Tortellini Recipe Economical?

This tortellini with creamy white sauce recipe is moderately cost-effective for a household. The use of cheese tortellini, asparagus, and artichoke hearts may increase the overall cost, but the dish's richness and flavor compensate for it. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $35-$40. The dish's versatility and the ability to customize ingredients make it a solid choice for a family meal. Overall Verdict: 8/10

Is Tortellini with Creamy White Sauce Healthy?

The tortellini with creamy white sauce recipe, while undeniably delicious, leans more towards the unhealthy side due to several factors:

  • The dish is high in saturated fat from the heavy cream, butter, and cheeses used in the sauce and topping.
  • The refined all-purpose flour used in the sauce adds carbohydrates without much nutritional value.
  • The recipe lacks a significant source of lean protein, which is essential for a balanced meal.
  • Although the dish includes some vegetables like asparagus, spinach, and artichoke hearts, the overall vegetable content could be higher to increase the nutrient density of the meal.

However, the recipe does have some redeeming qualities, such as the inclusion of nutrient-rich vegetables like spinach and artichoke hearts, which provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

To make this recipe healthier without compromising on taste, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace the heavy cream with a lower-fat alternative like evaporated skim milk or Greek yogurt to reduce the saturated fat content.
  • Use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour to increase the fiber content and nutritional value of the sauce.
  • Incorporate a lean protein source, such as grilled chicken or shrimp, to make the dish more balanced and satisfying.
  • Increase the amount of vegetables used in the recipe, or serve the tortellini with a side salad to boost the overall nutrient content of the meal.
  • Reduce the amount of cheese used in the topping to decrease the saturated fat and calorie content of the dish.

Editor's Take: My Honest Opinion on This Tortellini Dish

As a culinary expert, I find this tortellini with creamy white sauce recipe to be a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The creamy white sauce, enriched with nutmeg and Parmigiano-Reggiano, beautifully complements the tender cheese tortellini and crisp asparagus. The addition of artichoke hearts and spinach adds depth and freshness to the dish, while the Italian cheese blend provides a satisfyingly gooey finish. This recipe offers a harmonious blend of ingredients and a balance of richness and lightness, making it a delightful and comforting meal for any occasion.

Enhance Your Tortellini With Creamy White Sauce Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Bread: A warm and crispy garlic bread with a hint of herbs and melted butter, perfect for dipping in the creamy white sauce of the tortellini.
Caprese Salad: Fresh and juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fragrant basil drizzled with balsamic glaze, providing a refreshing contrast to the rich and cheesy tortellini dish.
Roasted Vegetables: Colorful and tender roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots, seasoned with herbs and olive oil, adding a healthy and flavorful accompaniment to the creamy tortellini.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Creamy Tortellini Dishes

Creamy Chicken Alfredo: This creamy and indulgent pasta dish is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of tender chicken and rich alfredo sauce will leave you wanting more.
Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille: This colorful and flavorful dish is a great way to enjoy a variety of vegetables. The roasted veggies are seasoned to perfection and make for a satisfying and healthy meal.
Mango Coconut Rice Pudding: Indulge in this tropical twist on a classic dessert. The sweet and creamy rice pudding is infused with the tropical flavors of mango and coconut, making it a delightful treat.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Tortellini with Creamy White Sauce

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these savory and indulgent stuffed mushrooms. The combination of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs creates a rich and flavorful filling that is sure to be a hit at any gathering.
Bruschetta: Elevate your appetizer game with a classic bruschetta. The crisp, toasted bread topped with a vibrant mixture of tomatoes, basil, and balsamic glaze is a refreshing and delicious way to start any meal.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth and impress your guests.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Delight in a creamy and decadent strawberry cheesecake, with a buttery graham cracker crust and a luscious strawberry topping. A classic dessert that never fails to please.

Why trust this Tortellini With Creamy White Sauce Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of cheese tortellini and fresh asparagus, providing a burst of flavor and nutrients. The creamy white sauce, made with butter, heavy whipping cream, and parmigiano-reggiano cheese, adds a rich and indulgent touch. The inclusion of spinach and artichoke hearts introduces a healthy dose of greens, while the Italian cheese blend brings a satisfyingly gooey finish. With a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, this dish promises to elevate any dining experience.

Share your thoughts on the Tortellini With Creamy White Sauce Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section. Let's discuss any tweaks or variations you've tried with this dish!
FAQ:
How can I make this recipe vegetarian?
To make this recipe vegetarian, you can simply use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. You can also substitute the cheese tortellini with a vegetarian option, such as spinach and ricotta tortellini. Additionally, ensure that the cheese you use is vegetarian-friendly, and you can enjoy a delicious vegetarian version of this dish.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. Prepare the tortellini and asparagus, as well as the white sauce, and store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When you're ready to serve, simply reheat the white sauce and mix it with the tortellini and asparagus. Then, assemble the dish, top it with cheese, and broil it until the cheese is melted and browned.
Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze the leftovers of this dish. Store the leftover tortellini with creamy white sauce in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When you're ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in the oven or microwave until it's heated through.
What can I serve with this dish?
This tortellini with creamy white sauce pairs well with a variety of side dishes. A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette, garlic bread, or roasted vegetables would complement the flavors of the dish. You can also serve it with a side of crusty bread to soak up the delicious white sauce.
Can I use frozen tortellini instead of fresh?
Yes, you can use frozen tortellini instead of fresh. Simply follow the package instructions to cook the frozen tortellini before incorporating it into the recipe. Keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly, so ensure that the tortellini is fully cooked before combining it with the other ingredients.

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