Cheese Tortellini & Asparagus in Brown Butter Sauce

Cheese Tortellini & Asparagus in Brown Butter Sauce

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A simple but sophisticated dinner ready in under 20 minutes.


8 to 9 ounce package dried or fresh cheese tortellini
2 teaspoons salt for water
8 ounces to 1 pound of thick asparagus, cut into 1 1/2″ lengths, stems separated from tips
4 tablespoons butter
cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or two teaspoons dried
4 ounces Prosciutto or thinly sliced ham, optional
1/2 lemon in wedges for garnish
Parmesan or Romano shavings for garnish


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, or if you have a large enough skillet, use that.

If using dried tortellini, add to pot and set timer for 8 minutes when it comes to a boil. After four minutes, add the asparagus ends and at 7 minutes, add the asparagus tips. Test pasta and when al dente, drain.

If using fresh tortellini, add the asparagus stems to the pot and simmer for 1 minute, then the pasta and simmer for two, then the asparagus stems and simmer for an additional minute until pasta is heated through but still al dente. Drain.

For fresh or dried tortellini:

In the pot, add the butter and heat over medium-high heat until butter begins to turn golden brown. Add garlic and prosciutto or ham, if using. Add tarragon. Add the pasta/asparagus back into the pot and toss.

Serve with shavings of Parmesan or Romano and wedges of lemon.


If planning on serving leftovers, do not store with the lemon or Parmesan. They become too strong with time.

Very thin asparagus may need to cook for slightly less time

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