Tortellini meets alfredo sauce meets basil in this simple, elegant, creamy recipe for tortellini with basil cream sauce. A perfect summer pasta supper!
Oh, this recipe. If you love pasta, if you love basil, if you love a plate of cheesy, creamy, comfort food deliciousness, then this recipe for tortellini with basil cream sauce has your name on it. It’s had my name on it ever since I first made it, and it’s usually the first thing I make when the first sweet basil makes an appearance in the summer (before moving on to all things caprese, of course!).
Oh, and just for good measure, it’s one of those recipes that has you in and out of the kitchen in about 15 minutes or so. Ready for some creamy basil deliciousness? Let’s make it!
This summer I am having to resort to all kinds of defense mechanisms with my basil crop. Last year we broke down and put in a deer fence after all the Bambis who live in the woods around us came over and ate everything from ever single arborvitae tree in our back yard to my HOLLY BUSHES. Yep, you read that right. And of course they were delighted to nosh on my herb barrels and most of my flowers.
So much as I love them, up went the deer fence, and I figured I was home free, herb garden-wise. BUT NO. We have a wily woodchuck named Chet who loves basil, parsley, shamrocks and dill. The dog chases Chet whenever he shows up during the day, but he prefers to dine at night. So far my mint, thyme, rosemary, sage and chives don’t seem to appeal to Chet, but as soon as the parsley and basil come back, he chows down.
So after a few rounds of this, I moved the basil inside, and it is happily living right inside my kitchen door. I tried to do the same with the parsley, but it keeled over…I think it really wants to live outside. My next idea is hanging baskets of parsley from a shepherd’s crook, because I don’t think Chet is a good climber. We shall see.
Anyway, back at the tortellini with basil cream sauce – you can use this sauce on any cheese-filled pasta. Ravioli, tortelloni and the original tortellini all work well with this creamy, dreamy sauce. While the pasta is cooking, you are going to simmer up a quick sauce that includes a little garlic and shallots, some butter and cream, and at the very end, a generous handful of chopped basil.
I like to save a few of the teeniest basil leaves to sprinkle on the top, just for the prettiness.
And with that, here’s the recipe for my favorite summer supper. Eat your heart out, Chet! :)
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 1/4 cups cream
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 9-ounce packages cheese tortellini, cooked and drained
- Fresh ground pepper
- Saute shallots and garlic in butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add flour and stir for one more minute. Stir in 1/4 cup butter and cook for one more minute. Stir in wine and cook one minute more. Slowly add cream, stirring until smooth.
- Add cheese and and cook over medium heat until smooth and thick, about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in basil, mix well. Add cooked tortellini and stir to coat.
- Divide among plates and grind fresh pepper over top.
Updated from an earlier Framed Cooks post.
Hi there! I’m Kate, and I’m a recipe writer, food photographer and devoted bacon lover. I started Framed Cooks in 2009, and my mission is to create and share family-friendly recipes that make cooking both easy and fun…yes, I said FUN! My kitchen is my happy place, and I want yours to be that place too. Let’s cook together!