This came from a cookbook my husband got me for Christmas (I made it easy for him and sent him the link to buy it from Amazon).
I follow their food blog, but there is something great about having the actual cookbook in hand. (Their picture makes this meal look about 1,000 times better, but despite my iphone photography, this meal is super good)
Spinach and Cheese Tortellini
1 120z package of cheese tortellini
4-5 strips of bacon
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1 medium lemon
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
3/4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cups grated parmesan cheese, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350º
2. Cook tortellini according to packaging
3. Cook bacon on a skillet until crisp. Remove from skillet and place on paper towels to drain. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings and discard the rest. Add garlic to the skillet and cook until tender and fragrant. Add flour to pan and whisk for about a minute. Slowly add milk and continue to whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil and red pepper flakes and bring the sauce to a simmer
3. While sauce is simmering, zest the lemon. Cut the lemon in half and juice it. Add 2 tablespoons of the zest and 1 tablespoon of juice to the sauce. Continue to simmer and stir until thickened. Remove from heat.
4. Drain the tortellini and return to the stockpot you used to cook it. Chop the bacon and reserve 1 tablespoon of it and add the rest to the pasta. Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup parmesan and then add the sauce. Gently stir to combine.
5. Place the pasta mixture in a casserole dish and top with remaining cheeses and crumbled bacon.
6. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese on top is melted.