Alla Panna Sauce Recipe

chicken pasta


Yield: 2 cups (enough for 4 servings with pasta)

  • 8 ounces butter
  • 4 minced garlic cloves or chopped shallots (optional)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound uncooked pasta of your choice


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic or shallots, if using, and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add cream, whisking constantly, heating until bubbling and thickened.
  3. Add optional parsley, basil, and salt and pepper to taste, whisking until the sauce is velvety smooth.
  4. Keep sauce warm until ready to use.
  5. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  6. Divide pasta into four servings and pour warm sauce on top.

Note: By adding 1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to step 3, above, you will have an Alfredo sauce.

Serving Suggestion

Alla panna simply means "with cream sauce" in Italian. This cream sauce can be likened to a French béchamel except no flour is used. The sauce thickens by reduction. It can be used over pasta, meats, and vegetables. Consider a chicken and mushroom dish.

Chicken-and-Mushroom alla Panna

Mix together the prepared cream sauce with cooked chicken breast meat and a small, well-drained can of sliced mushrooms (you don't want to dilute the velvety thickness of the sauce) and heat until warm throughout. Serve over a pound of cooked al dente linguine or other pasta. A side salad and crusty Italian bread are all you need for a gourmet meal that takes mere minutes to prepare.

If desired, pass grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at table.

Alla Panna Sauce Recipe