Ciao, are you ready to make the authentic tortellini panna e prosciutto recipe? The recipe that my male friends and brothers made continuously to satisfy their endless appetites. The steps they had learned from their moms and nonnas and that they replicated as accurately as their first-experienced skills let them.

tortellini panna e prosciutto recipe

authentic tortellini alla panna e prosciutto

Tortellini panna e prosciutto is a recipe original of Emilia Romagna, the land of tortellini! If you want to learn to make your own tortellini, go check the Winter and Modena Simposio, you’ll find the recipe and a funny story about tortellini and belly buttons…
But it is also the easy, made-in-minutes, and authentic recipe of my youth. Not mine exactly but of all the Italian men in my life. The grand appetites of my young friends and brothers could only be mitigated by generous portions and nourishing seasonings. Plus, especially when they first moved out of their parents’ kitchens – and nonnas’ -, this was a dish they could easily replicate. I can assure you their first supermarket carts were filled with already made tortellini, liters of “panna”, what in Italy we call heavy cream, and prosciutto. The latter sliced – for panini – or “a dadini”, already diced. In the end, putting all these ingredients together was doable, fast, and satisfying. They’d survive independence.

tortellini panna e prosciutto ingredients


The city of Sassi.


The city of Opulence.


The city of Renaissance.

tortellini panna e prosciutto cotto recipe

how to make the tortellini alla panna sauce

The authentic sauce of tortellini alla panna is, basically, heavy cream, flavored by a simple soffritto of olive oil and onion (shallot sounds to me like the best choice for its gentleness), and the prosciutto cubes added minutes later. The secret is in the correct timing, not burning the onion, and a special Italian spice: nutmeg.
After you’ve made or bought tortellini and prepared the panna sauce, all you have to do is boil the tortellini, add them to the sauce pan, and sautè them for a couple of minutes. Many add peas. But I’ve rarely seen them in the not-at-all-health-concerned dishes of the young men mentioned above. You have to wait for their 40s, for them to appear in their grocery baskets!

Italian tortellini panna e prosciutto cotto recipe

Tortellini panna e prosciutto cotto

Tortellini seasoned with a velvety cream and tender prosciutto cotto cubes.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Author Claudia Rinaldi


  • 10.5 oz tortellini 300 gr
  • 1/2 shallot
  • 3.5 oz prosciutto cotto 100 gr or 1 thick slice
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • nutmeg
  • salt


  1. Dice the prosciutto cotto. Finely chop the shallot.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (2 liters or 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt every 300 gr or 3 cups of pasta)
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, and brown the shallot until fork tender and translucent.
  4. Add the prosciutto cubes and sauté for 2-4 minutes over medium heat.

  5. Pour in the heavy cream, mix well, and cook for about 2 minutes. Taste for salt and add 3-4 grinds of nutmeg (1/8 or less of a teaspoon). Mix and turn off the heat.
  6. Cook the tortellini in the boiling water until they float. Catch them with a skimmer and transfer them to the condiment pan.
  7. Sauté them over high heat for a couple of minutes, mixing to amalgamate.
  8. Serve hot, sprinkled (or not, depending on your taste), with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy your delicious tortellini panna e prosciutto!