Thursday, February 21, 2013

Creamy Lemon Tortellini Bake

Tonight I put together a meal that could easily be a rainy day meal. Many if not all of these ingredients are those in a well stocked kitchen. The bagged tortellini is a good staple that I just discovered and will willingly and most likely include in my cupboards for a good, quick meal for myself or my family. As always, the ingredients are listed in the order of use for convenience and to help one not completely lose sanity :) Enjoy.

(The oats container is our flour container).
12 oz bag Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortelini (find them in the dry pasta aisle)

4 oz bacon, cut into small pieces

3 cloves garlic, pressed in garlic press or finely minced

2 Tbs flour

2 cups milk
3/4 tsp sea salt
3/4  tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tsp dry basil

1 medium lemon,zested and juiced

6 oz bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped

¾ C grated mozzarella cheese, divided

¾ C grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Heat up your oven to 350 if you plan to cook this immediately after preparation (I did not).
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Then place tortellini in pot and cook 10 minutes or until tender.
Place cut up bacon in a pan on medium heat. Cook until nice and crisp. While this is cooking, zest 1 tablespoon off the lemon. Combine with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.

Take bacon out (helps if you use a slotted spoon), leaving the grease, and place on paper towel covered plate to soak up any grease. 
Use 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease, discard the rest. In the remaining grease, add the garlic, you are starting a rue. Let the garlic go for about a minute. Add flour and whisk to combine the grease, garlic and flour for a minute. SLOWLY add the milk whisking continuously until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil and lemon to sauce.  Bring sauce to a simmer.

Roughly chop the spinach. Will look approximately like this.

Drain the tortellini and place back into pot cooked in. Put aside 1 tablespoon of the bacon and put rest into the pasta. Add the spinach and 1/2 of both mozzerella and parmesan cheese. Add the sauce and stir to combine all the ingredients.

Place in a baking dish and top with 1/2 cup of both parmesan and mozzerella cheese along with the bacon.

If you want to save for later, place foil over dish and place in fridge.
When you want to cook it, Preheat to 350 and place the foil covered pan in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until cheese melts. Cool for 10 minutes and devour.

This recipe was taken and modified from:


  1. This was good. Just a tad less lemon and the flavors would have really stood out more. Saying that, it will be a keeper recipe in this household!!

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