Monday, October 29, 2012

Spinach Tortellini in a Creamy Lemon Sauce


For this recipe, you need tortellini, which are little pastas that come with cheese or veggies stuffed inside. If you've never worked with them before, they are wonderful. They can be found in the dry pasta aisle.  If you've got access to a WinCo foods, they can be found with the bulk items, which is much cheaper than buying a pre-packaged bag by the dry pasta.

12 oz. Tortellini
4 oz. bacon (about 4 strips)
3 cloves garlic
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped onion
2 T. flour
2 C. milk
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. red pepper (optional)
1 medium lemon
2 C. roughly chopped, packed spinach
1 C. Mozzarella cheese, grated
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Cooke tortellini according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bacon in a skillet and cook until crisp.  Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel.  Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings and discard the rest.  Add garlic and onion to pan and saute 1-3 minutes. Add flour and stir with a whisk to make a roux.  Slowly add milk and continue to stir until smooth. Add salt, peppers, basil and bring to a simmer
While sauce is simmering, zest the lemon to produce 2 tsp. zest.  Cut the lemon in half and juice.  Add zest and 1 T. juice to the sauce and simmer additional 2-3 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat.  Drain tortellini and add the bacon and sauce to the pasta.  Then add the spinach and cheese.  Place in a 9X9 baking dish and bake (covered) for 25-30 minutes.  You can reserve some of the cheese to place on top, if desired. Let sit approx. 10 minutes before serving.