Creamy tortellini dish
The Forgotten Creamy Tortellini And Ham Meal From The 1940s
Tortellini with cream and ham is a lesser-known pasta dish that may sound somewhat American, but it's a traditional recipe from Bologna, where it's known as tortellini alla panna.
Tortellini alla panna was created by restaurateur Cesarina Masi. After becoming popular in Rome in the 1940s, it spread to the U.S., but the dish's fame would soon wane.
Masi's restaurant in Rome later closed, and tortellini alla panna was mostly forgotten. However, it deserves a comeback, as it's both simple and delicious to make.
Prosciutto cotto (pre-cooked prosciutto) is the traditional ham to pair with the tortellini, and the dish is cooked with broth and Parmesan cheese to make it rich and creamy.
In the U.S., the use of heavy cream was common during this dish's heyday. You add this ingredient for an even heartier and thicker texture to finish it off, and dinner is served.