Tortellini With Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Tortellini With Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Store-bought cheese tortellini is a great time-saving dish, perfect for a busy weeknight. Sometimes a jarred tomato sauce will do, but when you are looking for a way to kick it up a notch, this easy-to-make tomato basil cream sauce is sure to please everyone's palates. A simple combination of crushed tomatoes, heavy cream, basil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and garlic simmer together to create a luscious pink sauce with the right balance of flavors. The dish is finished off with an extra bit of Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cheese tortellini

  • 1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

  • 4 teaspoons dried basil

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tortellini With Tomato Basil Cream Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Cook the tortellini according to package directions.

    Cook the tortellini in a pot with water

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. In a bowl or measuring cup, combine the crushed tomatoes with the chicken bouillon granules, basil, minced parsley, and black pepper.

    combine the crushed tomatoes with the chicken bouillon granules, basil, minced parsley, and black pepper in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan.

    oil in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Sauté the garlic in the olive oil.

    Sauté the garlic in the olive oil in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Add the crushed tomato mixture and bring to a simmer.

    Add the crushed tomato mixture to the oil and garlic in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Add the cream and bring to a gentle boil.

    add cream to the tomato mixture in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir well.

    Add the Parmesan cheese to the cream and tomato mixture

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Stir the drained tortellini into the sauce. Serve the pasta and sauce garnished with additional grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

    Stir the drained tortellini into the sauce, Tortellini With Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • Do not replace fresh basil for the dried basil—cooking fresh basil over high heat for an extended time will break down the herb's aroma and flavor compounds.
  • Make sure to use heavy whipping cream as its high milkfat content prevents it from separating when exposing it to heat.
  • The tomato mixture should be at a gentle simmer—not a boil—before adding the cream. Pouring cream into a very hot liquid will cause it to curdle.
  • Another cause for curdling is the variation in temperature between the hot liquid and the cold cream. If the heavy cream is very cold, heat it up slightly before adding to the sauce. This can be done in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Recipe Variations

  • Substitute fresh basil in place of the fresh parsley garnish. If the leaves are large, tear them into smaller pieces before adding to the dish.
  • Instead of adding dried basil to the tomato mixture, you can buy crushed tomatoes that already include basil.
  • If you don't have chicken bouillon granules, you can use 1 bouillon cube or 1 cup of chicken broth. If using broth, the tomato mixture will need extra time simmering to cook down.