There are a number of high quality prepared pastas on the market today, and tortellini is one of my favorite pastas to cook.  This recipe is for a tortellini alfredo with fresh asparagus.  Alfredo sauce is super easy to make, really just some reduced cream and a bit of parmesan cheese.  But is can also be pretty heavy.  To lighten the dish a bit I blanch and toss in the asparagus, which works very well with the pasta and sauce, and gives you the added benefit of a adding a vegetable to your meal.  Hope you enjoy it!

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

To make the best Tortellini Alfredo with Asparagus just make sure you do the following:

  • Like all pasta recipes make sure you cook the tortellini al dente.  Start tasting before the package suggests it will be done.  I like to take it out about 30 seconds early and finish it in the sauce.
  • The same can be said for the asparagus. Overcooked it gets watery, limp and gross. Blanch for just a few minutes, and then shock in cold water to set the color and stop the cooking process
  • Finally, alfredo sauce tends to thicken very quickly as it cools.  I like it a bit thinner than desired right when it comes off the heat, knowing it will thicken a bit as you plate it

Ingredients

  • 1 package cheese tortellini
  • Pint of cream
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 5 – 7 asparagus stalks
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Tortellini Alfredo with Asparagus

  • Bring a pot of water to the boil
  • Separately prepare a bowl of cold water
  • Add salt to the boiling water and blanch the asparagus for 2 – 3 minutes until they just start to become tender
  • Remove from the boil and add to the cold water to stop the cooking and set the color
  • Remove to a paper towel to drain and dice into 1 inch pieces (you can do this ahead of time and keep in the fridge)
  • Bring a pot of salted water to the boil for the tortellini
  • As it comes to temperature, heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add 3/4  of the point of cream
  • Bring to a simmer and allow it to slow reduce, scraping down the sides every few minutes or as needed
  • Once reduced by about 1/3 hold on a very low simmer
  • Once boiling, add the tortellini and cook until just barely al dente
  • Add the parmesan cheese to the cream, and turn the heat to high
  • Quickly drain the tortellini and add to the cream along with the asparagus and toss to combine
  • Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • If needed add a bit more fresh cream to thin the sauce out
  • Plate up the tortellini and garnish with a bit more parmesan cheese

Wine Recommendation for Tortellini Alfredo with Asparagus

Asparagus can be very tricky to pair with wine, and often clashes.   That limits the choices somewhat, but fortunately, the creamy alfredo sauce simplies matters greatly.  While I'd still avoid most red wines, a dry chardonnay without too much oak would work very well.

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