(click here for printable version) - From The Farm Girl Recipes http://thefarmgirlrecipes.blogspot.com
12 oz Tortellini (find them in the dry pasta aisle and the only brand my store carried was Barilla Parmesan Cheese but any kind should work)
6 strips bacon
3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
2 Tbs flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cream
¾ t. kosher salt
⅛ t. black pepper
1 1/2 t. dry basil
¼ t. red pepper flakes, optional
1 medium lemon
2 c loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
¾ c. grated mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.
2. Place bacon in a medium sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. Add garlic to pan and 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 cream continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.
3. While sauce is heating, use a microplane grater or a fine-holed cheese grater to zest lemon--be careful not to get any of the white part in the sauce, it is quite bitter. Then cut lemon in half and remove juice. Add zest and lemon juice to sauce. Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Drain tortellini and place back in stock pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture. Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce and gently stir to combine. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup mozarella and 1/4 cup parmesan and also crumbled bacon.
5. Cover pan 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 serve. Enjoy!