Sunday, July 8, 2012

Titillating Tortellini

Another Pinterest recipe supplies my family with a delicious dinner. This whole try out began with Publix having tortellini on sale for BOGO. I was interested in trying something new with the tortellini what didn't include tomato sauce. Lucky for me, my Pinterest board had exactly what I was looking for! Most of the ingredients that the recipe called for I already had in my kitchen.

Now, this recipe does call for some kitchen time. It is not a plop and drop in the crock pot sort of thing. There is frying, chopping, boiling, whisking, and taste testing involved, but trust me friends it is worth the effort.

Here is what you need according to the recipe
12 oz bag Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortellini (find them in the dry pasta aisle) ***I used (2) 9 oz bags of Buitoni Tortellini***
4 oz bacon or pancetta, (about 4 strips bacon)***I used thick cut bacon***
3 cloves garlic, pressed in garlic press or finely minced
2 Tbs flour
2 C milk
¾ tsp kosher salt ***Regular table salt works fine***
⅛ tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dry basil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp or more if you like spicy)
1 medium lemon ***I used lemon juice***
2 C loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
¾ C grated mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ C grated Parmesan cheese, divided

So begin by preheating your oven to 350 and cook your bacon until crisp and set aside. In the same pan, sauté your garlic. Be aware that your pan may be a little to hot at first and you could burn your garlic. In the meantime, bring your pasta water to a boil and cook tortellini according to package. When the pasta is done cooking drain and return to pot.

Next, you are going to create a rue in the pan you cooked the garlic in by adding 2 Tbs of flour. The recipe says to use some of the bacon grease/fat for the rue.  You can substitute 2 Tbs butter instead of the bacon fat.

Then, you are going to add the 2 C of Milk and your spices. I don't know about you, but I don't always add spices in exact measurement. When I made this, I "eye-balled-it" and did taste tests and added as needed. Continue to stir your sauce because it takes about 5 minutes or so for it to thicken. Bring it back to a boil and then lower temp to simmer (at that point it should thicken).

When your sauce is done you are going to add it to the pasta along with spinach, some of the bacon, mozzarella and parm. Stir until covered and then transfer to baking dish. Before covering with foil, top the mixture with the rest of bacon and cheese.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes with foil on and then 5 minutes with foil off.

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did. Thanks again Pinterest for another good food find.

Here is the link for the original recipe because we must give credit where credit is due!

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