The Easy Trick That Will Save Time When Cooking Shrimp Tortellini

Comfort meets seafood with a bowl of shrimp tortellini, a delicate mix of shrimp, stuffed pasta, and creamy sauce. The sauce is typically composed of parmesan, butter, and heavy cream, though you could also substitute vodka sauce, basil pesto, or marinara if you're feeling creative, per MasterClass.

Emilia, a region in Italy, is the birthplace of tortellini, which looks like small rings that are typically stuffed with cheese, though some variations may also include mortadella, pork loin, and prosciutto, as told by Paesana. During Christmas and New Year's Eve in this region, it's common to indulge in tortellini en brodo, aka tortellini in capon broth, via La Cucina Italiana. MasterClass's shrimp tortellini recipe involves common grocery store staples like heavy cream and parmesan cheese for the sauce, fresh or frozen cheese tortellini, shrimp, peas, and a few herbs and spices.

WTAJ notes that cream cheese can also be incorporated for an extra creamy and thick sauce. But one slight problem with making shrimp tortellini lies in the various cooking steps for each element. You often have to cook the pasta, then the sauce, then the shrimp, then perhaps some other additions like sautéed vegetables, before combining all of these. Such an easy dish suddenly becomes much more time-consuming, but luckily, we've got a tip that will speed up the cooking process.

Cook the shrimp and pasta together

Instead of cooking the shrimp separately, why not cook it with the tortellini in the same pot? Granted, it's best not to do this too early because the shrimp may overcook by the time the pasta is done.

According to MasterClass, all you have to do is boil the tortellini as normal. Then, when it's about three minutes shy of being done, carefully drop in the shrimp (the source went with 1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp, though they didn't state whether the shrimp is frozen or thawed). After a few minutes, the pasta should be done, and the shrimp should be almost cooked through. When it comes time to combine these with the sauce, add in the pasta and shrimp and cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes. The shrimp should now be done, and the sauce should be thick and creamy.

Alternatively, you could also cook the shrimp and sauce together and then add the pasta last. Happy Homeschool Nest achieves this by sautéeing shrimp and butter together in a skillet, then adding in the sauce ingredients, like diced tomatoes, garlic, flour, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese. After these finish cooking, they incorporate the cheese tortellini and stir to combine. So, next time you make this dish, remember to speed up the process by cooking the shrimp either with the tortellini or with the sauce rather than boiling it separately.