You KNOW a dish has to be good if it was named after some Italian dude.
Alfredo sauce is one of those indulgent things we know we shouldn’t eat too often, but when we do, we may as well do it right! And this method in the Instant Pot is SO right.
I am telling you here and now – you’ve NEVER made an Alfredo sauce so easily or so rich in flavor!
Up the ante by using cheesy or meat-stuffed tortellini instead of simple fettuccine and you’ll soon find out that you (and the ones you serve this to) are going to be so satisfied, you’ll never make it another way again! Mangia!
Here’s How I Made It!:
We’re gonna start with a shallot (a smaller, oblong onion that packs a punch and is wonderful in many Italian dishes) and dice it up.
Then we’re gonna go to the Instant Pot and add a little butter, melt it and add our shallots followed by some crumbled pancetta (or you can use a few strips of bacon cut into pieces if you can’t find pancetta…although most supermarkets carry it!).
Cook for a few minutes until the shallots and pancetta get some color, but not browned or burned.
Let’s add in some water, garlic powder, nutmeg and pepper and give it all a stir.
Now we’re gonna add our tortellini and I’m using the kind you’d find that’s in the refrigerated section of your supermarket or even Costco. You can use any variety you like (cheese, veggie or meat stuffed!). Secure the lid and cook at high pressure followed by a quick release.
You’ll notice the tortellini will have expanded a little after cooking which is good as it absorbed some of the liquid.
Next, fire up the sauté setting and let’s add the some frozen peas (which will thaw immediately due to the heat) and mix it in with the tortellini.
We’re going to follow that with some parmesan cheese, half & half (or go nuts and make it heavy cream)…
…and some cream cheese cut into cubes.
Give everything a real nice stir and make sure all of that cream cheese is melted and stirred in.
It’s going to thicken up nicely once it cools down some and you are going to have one of the richest, easiest and most delicious Alfredos you’ve ever tasted!
- 15-20 oz of fresh tortellini of your choice (I used two 9 oz packages of different Buitoni varieties for fun. You can usually find fresh tortellini in or near the refrigerated dairy section of your local supermarket – and Costco makes a GREAT one too near the cheese section!)
- 3 tbsp of salted butter
- 5 oz of pancetta, diced (usually found in the refrigerated cheese/meat bin at your local supermarket in the deli section. This is optional, but I find it really enhances the flavor!)
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2.5 cups of water
- 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg
- 10oz box of frozen peas
- 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup of half & half (or heavy cream if you want to REALLY indulge)
- 4oz (half a brick) of cream cheese, cut into cubes
- Add the butter to the Instant Pot and hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More”/”High” setting and let the butter melt. Once it does, add the shallot and pancetta and let cook for about 2 minutes (don’t let it get too browned)
- Add the water, nutmeg, pepper and garlic power and stir well. Then, add the tortellini and lightly pack it in so the liquid is covering most of it
- Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 4 minutes. When done, do a quick release
- Once you remove the lid, hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More”/”High” setting and add in the box of frozen peas (they will quickly thaw and become hot within a minute due to the heat of the pasta and broth.) Stir gently and well (about 1 minute)
- Add the Parmesan, half & half (or heavy cream) and cream cheese and also stir gently and well until all of the cream cheese is mixed into the sauce (about 2-3 minutes). Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and let set for a few minutes so it cools slightly to proper eating temperature and it will begin to thicken
Instead of using just one type of tortellini, try using 2 different 8-10oz size packages for more variety! I used spinach a spinach tortellini stuffed with ricotta and a white tortellini stuffed with chicken and prosciutto!
If you don’t want the peas, just leave them out! And make it vegetarian-friendly by leaving out the pancetta and using only meat-free stuffed tortellini!
And if you really want to go all out, serve it with some buttery, flaky garlic bread!