February 17, 2013

Week 62, Recipe 2: Creamy Tortellini & Spinach Bake

Photo from What a Dish!


  • This was really good. The creamy sauce bakes into the pasta and the bacon adds a nice flavor. We all ate it up! Double the recipe below for sure as a 8x8 inch casserole was NOT enough! 
  • Modified from What a Dish! website


  • 1 pkg (16 oz) cheese tortellini 
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry basil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes 
  • juice of half a lemon - about  1 1/2 - 2 tbsp
  • 1 package frozen spinach, cooked according to package directions and squeezed of excess liquid once cooled
  • ¾ c. grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¾ c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided


1. Preheat oven to 350. 
2. Cook tortellini according to package instructions and drain. Do not over cook or it will get mushy.
3. Cook bacon until crisp in a skillet at medium-high heat. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain then crumble when cooled. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. 
4. Reduce heat to medium low and add garlic to pan. Cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer. Add lemon juice to sauce and continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. In a large pot or bowl, gently mix the cooked tortellini, half of the crumbled bacon, spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese with the sauce. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 (or similar sized) baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan and extra crumbled bacon.
6. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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