Made this recipe last night - found it on www.ourbestbites.com - LOVED it!!
I changed a couple of things just because I didn't have exactly what they called for, but I doubt they made a difference in the taste. Delicious!!
I think you could use the sauce from this recipe over any pasta, not just tortellini. It would be great over angel hair (vermicelli) or rotini as a side dish.
I'm also wondering if I could substitute broccoli for the spinach... I'll have to try that later & let you know.
Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce
Recipe by Our Best Bites
12 oz bag Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortellini (in the dry pasta aisle)
4 oz bacon or pancetta (about 4 strips of bacon)**
3 cloves garlic, pressed in a garlic press or finely minced
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dry basil
1/4 tsp red pepper (1/2 tsp or more if you like spicy)
1 medium lemon, zest & juice
2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 350*F. Cook tortellini in large stock pot according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in a medium-sized skillet at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan & set on paper towels to drain. Crumble when cooled. Reserve 2 Tbsps bacon drippings in pan & discard the rest.
- Add garlic to pan & cook until fragrant & tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan & stir with whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk & continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil & red pepper flakes. Bring sauce to a simmer.
- Zest lemon, then cut in half & juice. Add 2 tsps zest and 1 Tbsp lemon juice to sauce. Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Drain tortellini when finished cooking & place back in stock pot. Reserve 1 Tbsp of cooked bacon & add the rest to the pasta. Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese & 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce. Gently stir to combine.
- Place pasta mixture in an 8x8" or 9x9" baking dish. Top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella & 1/4 cup Parmesan cheeses. Sprinkle with remaining crumbled bacon.
- Cover pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil & bake for another 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted & pasta is bubbly througout.
- Remove from oven & cool for 10 minutes before serving.
** For a vegetarian meal, omit the bacon. Replace the 2 Tbsps reserved bacon drippings with olive oil.
I used refrigerated, pre-prepared tortellini from Costco.
I used dried Italian seasonings instead of dried basil.
I left out the red pepper flakes completely.
I also completely forgot to let it sit for 10 minute after baking. It was delicious anyway!