Tortellini alla Panna is a classic Northern Italian preparation of meat filled Tortellini tossed in a cream sauce. My father used to serve a Tortellini Pasticcio that consisted of Tortellini alla Panna layered with Bolognese Sauce and then baked in the oven. I have been wanting to make this at home for a quite a while, but for whatever reason never got around to it until now. While eating it my wife had one question for me, “Why have we never had this before?”
I always liked the presentation for this in my father’s restaurant. Each one was cooked to order in individual metal plates that went in the oven, with a circle of Bolognese sauce on top in the center of the white Tortellini in the cream sauce. The metal plates were then placed on top of serving dishes and brought to the table (with a warning to be careful of the hot metal plates, of course). The individual metal plates are not an ideal solution for the home cook, but you can still achieve a great presentation with a round or oval ceramic baking dish served family style.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1–1/2 cups heavy cream
- salt to taste
- 1 pound tortellini
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1–1/2 cups bolognese sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Add the butter, cream and salt to a large sauté pan, turn the heat on to medium and melt the butter into the cream. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Take off the heat.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the tortellini. Cook until the tortellini are slightly underdone, 3-5 minutes. Drain well.
- Place pan with butter and cream back over medium heat. Add the tortellini and Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese and stir gently until cheese is melted and tortellini are well coated with the sauce.
- Coat the bottom of a round or oval baking dish with 1 cup of the bolognese sauce. Add the tortellini with the cream sauce to the dish, then make a circle on top of the tortellini in the center with the remaining half cup of bolognese sauce, leaving about 1 inch around the edges uncovered.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, until the cream sauce is starting to bubble around the edges.