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Cheese Tortellini with Pancetta recipe

Cheese Tortellini with Pancetta recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta types
  • Tortellini

A quick and easy dish to throw together during a busy weekday. Serve with a side salad, if desired.

196 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 rashers pancetta
  • 500g cheese tortellini
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:20min

  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute onion and pancetta until onion is translucent and pancetta is brown; remove from frying pan and drain on kitchen towels.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add pasta and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  3. Return pancetta mixture to frying pan and add tortellini. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat through. Place in serving dish or bowl, sprinkle with vinegar and cheese and serve immediately.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(208)

Reviews in English (156)


One word, awesome! I added some red bell pepper, some basil, and topped with sharp provolone cheese instead of the parmasean. There were no leftovers even though it was just me and my husband - - - it was that good!-02 Jul 2001

by RogueOnion8

It was good, but not amazing.Pancetta Bacon: It will be very difficult for most people to find at the local grocery store. It is a fancy style of bacon that is made from the same cuts as standard bacon but is generally more expensive and curred over a longer period of time using salt. Regular bacon will suffice.This recipe was interesting and had good flavor but lacked the kick I usually look for. I DO recommend everyone trying this at least once. This will not be a part of my regular rotation.-05 Feb 2003

by sweetiebird

My husband and I LOVED THIS. I'm a very inexperienced cook, and my new year's resolution was to cook a lot more. This couldn't have been easier, and the taste seems sophisticated, to my inexperienced palate. I would even serve this to my mother in law, if she weren't a heartless hag!-02 Mar 2004

HOMEMADE TORTELLINI Italian traditional recipe and history

Homemade tortellini is one of the most important recipes of my hometown, Bologna! Along with Bolognese ragù and Lasagne, this recipe is an authentic icon of the Emilian culinary tradition. Here I'm telling you the history, the legend, and the traditional way to make tortellini. Not really easy to prepare, but a masterpiece of the Italian culture!

What is in Creamy Tuscan tortellini?

(Scroll to the bottom for the detailed printable recipe) Here’s a summary of what you’ll need:

  • Tortellini - this only works as a one pot meal using fresh tortellini. If you use dried or frozen I recommend partially cooking them in boiling water separately according to their package instructions then draining and adding them to the pan as directed in recipe below. I always use cheese filled but you can use whatever ones you like
  • Pancetta or Bacon – I love to add this to the dish - it adds so much flavour to it but if you want to keep this dish completely meatless that is fine and just as delicious- just omit the pancetta and add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil or butter to pan to cook the shallots and garlic with. If you would like to add an alternative protein roasted chicken that you made at home or store-bought rotisserie chicken would work, crumbled italian sausage can be cooked as you would the pancetta at the start of the dish or even sliced chicken breast or thighs - these will need a little extra time to cook.
  • Spinach – I love to stir in some baby spinach to boost the colours and nutrition in this dish but feel free to get creative and add extra veggies or replace spinach for them, like sliced cremini mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus, diced eggplant, frozen peas&hellip
  • Sun-dried tomatoes- I always recommend oil packed ones because they are so much more flavorful - more details about this in my recipe notes below- but if you want to substitute these with sliced roasted red peppers you can
  • Heavy Cream - this is essential. I wouldn’t recommend milk. Half and half will work but the best is heavy cream as anything else can and will separate or curdle. This won’t affect the flavour of the dish but it will not be as creamy. Be very careful if you use any thing but the heavy cream, to not let the dish boil at any point this will initiate the separation in the sauce
  • Seasoning – salt, pepper, cracked red pepper flakes, italian seasoning fresh chopped parsley or basil. The Parmesan cheese is optional.

Creamy Pea & Pancetta Pasta

This is a quick and easy pasta dish that the entire family will love. It can quickly be thrown together on busy weeknights and is both satisfying and delicious. Growing up in Milan, Italy, my son used to request a version of this pasta dish served in many restaurants in northern Italy. It was a tortellini dish tossed in a heavy cream sauce with peas and sometimes ham (prosciutto cotto). I actually hadn’t prepared this dish for many, many years until recently when I was craving pasta, I realized I had all the ingredients on hand, so I prepared it for myself.

My version uses dried pasta in place of the tortellini, and anything from shells to penne pasta works well. I use half and half cream in place of the heavy cream which makes a lighter dish though the sauce coats the pasta perfectly. If you prefer, you could substitute cooked, diced ham in place of the pancetta, though in my house, bacon makes everything taste better!

I keep a bag of frozen petite peas in my freezer at all times to use to prepare quick meals, and they work great in this dish, though of course if you have fresh peas, they would be great as well. To serve, I like a sprinkling of cracked black pepper along with a heaping spoonful of either grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.

Tortellini vs. Tortelloni

If you’re making a quick pasta dish like this one, be sure to buy tortellini vs. tortelloni. Quick Italian lesson: “-ini” means small “-oni” means big. In truth, either is delicious. But if you want your pasta to be cute and little and cook quickly, it’s tortellini that you’re looking for!

You can find fresh tortellini in nearly any major grocery store, usually in a refrigerated case. They typically come in a variety of fillings: cheese-filled tortellini go with everything, and I love using spinach, because my little one will happily scarf them down, and I get to tell myself he ate something green.

Recipe Summary

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook tortellini about 2 minutes less than package instructions. Add peas cook until pasta is al dente and peas are tender, 2 minutes more. Reserving 1 cup pasta water, drain. Set aside pasta and peas.

Melt butter in pasta pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Discard garlic.

To pasta pot, add pasta and peas, Parmesan, and 3/4 cup reserved pasta water season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Add more pasta water, if necessary, to thin sauce. Serve, topped with additional Parmesan if desired.

Recipe Notes

Italian recipe purists know that al forno translates to of the oven. But thanks to development over time, many al forno dishes now go straight from your stovetop to your belly! While that is an indication of Tortellini Al Forno’s adaptability, there are some guidelines you should follow to make sure your dish turns out perfect.

Ingredient Notes

Boiling basics. Boiling water may seem like the simplest kitchen task, but believe it or not, when using it to cook pasta, there is a way to do it right! Adding salt to your water while your pasta cooking is a must. As Giada says, “it’s supposed to taste like the Pacific ocean.” That said how much should you use? I generally use about 2 tablespoons.

Lean vs. fatty bacon – We’ve all got a favorite brand of bacon. Some like it fatty while others prefer the leaner cuts. I’ve found that those leaner cuts work best in this tortellini al forno recipe. Buying a fatty cut of bacon will mean that more of the product will burn off. You only need a couple of tablespoons of drippings for the recipe, so it’s better to opt for the leaner, crisper cuts.

Try that tortellini! There are so many types of tortellini at the grocery now! Mushroom tortellini. Cheese. Sausage. Tomato. Don’t limit yourself — go for whichever flavor most speaks to you!

Keep those clumps out. This recipe essentially has you make bacon gravy, and as any home chef knows, gravy can quickly devolve into a lumpy mess. To avoid chunks of flour in what should be a smooth, velvety sauce, try adding your flour gradually via a sifter or a spoon.

The sifter’s holes will allow for an even distribution of flour as you stir it into the bacon grease. You can use a tablespoon to add the flour, whisking as you go. Don’t add the milk until your flour is fully incorporated into your drippings.

A note on cheese – If you can manage it, I strongly recommend you use fresh cheese. Many times, manufacturers will add fillers to the pre-packaged cheese, and this can impact the texture and the quality of your al forno sauce.

You can choose from a variety of brands. I don’t recommend low-fat cheese for two reasons. First, they’ll change the consistency of your sauce. Second, they’re often packed with salt, and the flavor of your dish will change.

Storing Tips

Let’s pretend for a second that you won’t eat all of this Tortellini Al Forno in one sitting.

Ha. Yeah. That sounds crazy to me, too. But humor me, would you?

Can You Freeze This?

You can! Like all pasta dishes, freezing tortellini can weaken the noodles’ structure, so be warned that the dish you dethaw won’t be *quite* as firm as it was at first bite. Honestly, though, I just don’t like this once frozen.

Make Ahead Tips

If you’re hoping to meal prep, you can always make the bacon ahead of time — but be sure to save the drippings for other recipes like my Southern Style Green Beans!

The rest of the recipe does best when made fresh, and it comes together so quickly that even the most time-pinched evenings will have room.

How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?

Tortellini Al Forno can hang out in your fridge for up to four days. The pasta will absorb the sauce the longer it sits, though, so be warned that your noodle structure is ticking down the moment you make it.

Homemade Tortellini

2 tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/8 pound pancetta, chopped coarsely
1 pound ground veal
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese
6 large eggs
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Make The Filling:

Add the pancetta and cook for 1 minute, then add the ground veal and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the veal is browned through, about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer the cooked meat mixture to a food processor, add 2 of the eggs and Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese and pulse until well blended. Cover and refrigerate while you make the pasta.

Tortellini Carbonara

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The creamy texture and smoky flavor of Italian-style carbonara sauce is what makes our easy recipe for Tortellini Carbonara taste like it came from a restaurant, but only we know what a cinch it was to prepare.

What You'll Need

  • 1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 3 / 4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 / 4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 / 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

What to Do

  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp remove to a paper towel-lined plate then crumble, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet.
  3. Add garlic to skillet, and saute 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Add tortellini, bacon, and remaining ingredients to skillet, and stir gently until evenly coated. Cook over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately.
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Ratings & Comments

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I did add one small chopped pepper and, a small pk. of mushrooms. A sure keeper

Made this for lunch today, and loved it! Made a couple of minor changes: I have always found it easier to chop the bacon before cooking it, rather than crumble it afterward. And I used pecorino romano cheese instead of parmesan, because that's what I had. Simple, quick, and delish. Thank you, Mr. Ginsberg, wherever you are!

I found it super easy to make and delicious. The only things that I did different was that I and grilled chicken. Then instead of 3/4 cup of heavy cream and paemasean cheese, I increased the amount to 1 cup. Since I wanted more sauce for the tortellini . My kids loved it and are begging me to make it again real soon. It's a keeper in my house for sure.

I still love watching Mr. Food (The real one) I love the new one too, but the late Mr. Food had a style all his own..Miss him..and thank you for keeping his show alive,I watch it ever day. [email protected]

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Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rub 1 teaspoon olive oil inside a baking dish with an 8-cup capacity.

In a medium skillet, cook the pancetta pieces over medium heat until the edges brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a large bowl. In the same skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and basil and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth and adjust the heat to cook it at a gentle boil until it is reduced to about ½ cup, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, bring to a boil, then immediately remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Stir the sauce into the pancetta in the bowl. Add the salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Set aside.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the tortellini for 5 minutes. Drain the tortellini well and stir them into the pancetta and sauce to coat them with sauce. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish.

Lightly flour the rolling surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough to a shape that is 1 inch larger than the top of the baking dish. Roll the crust around the rolling pin and unroll it over the top of the baking dish. Fold ½ inch of the edge of the crust under to form a smooth edge. Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the edge into a scalloped pattern or fluted edge around the edge of the dish, while pressing it firmly onto the rim. Cut four 2-inch-long slits in the top of the crust to release steam while the potpie bakes. Use a pastry brush to brush the top with the 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Let rest for 5 minutes, then use a large knife to cut wedges of crust and filling.

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