I haven’t had tortellini in ages…
My mom used to make it for me when I was a little kid. I used to stack them on my fingers like rings. I loved it. But as I grew older, I forgot about tortellini and I’m not really sure why. Luckily, we’ve become reacquainted.
While shopping in my favorite store, I overheard a man going on and on about how much his wife loved tortellini. She would serve it with sauteed greens and tomatoes for a quick meal. It was her lifesaver during busy weeknights.
Back home at the stove, I tried to re-create this dish. I started off by frying some diced bacon for a nice, smoky flavor. To that, I added grape tomatoes (no need to cut) and cooked them until blistered. Then I folded in some baby spinach. By the time my tortellini were done, my ‘sauce’ was complete. I tossed it all together with shaved parmesan cheese.
From start to finish, this meal took only 20 minutes! It was inexpensive too. For 4 people, the total cost was $12. That’s only $3/person! And I live in NY by the way, where everything is expensive. Tortellini, you’re my hero.
*Try swapping out cheese tortellini for pesto or mushroom. Add a dollop of goat cheese for a decadent touch!
- 1½ lbs. fresh cheese tortellini
- 6 bacon slices, cut into ½” dice
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- 2 c. whole grape (or cherry) tomatoes
- 1x 16 oz bag baby spinach, washed and dried
- parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt and add the tortellini. Cook according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, in a large saute pan (preferably 12″) warm a splash of olive oil over moderate heat. If you do not have a pan this size, use 2 separate ones to avoid overcrowding and steaming.
- Add the diced bacon and saute until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
- Using a microplane, grate your garlic into the pan. Saute until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
- Add the whole grape tomatoes (no need to cut). Cook until they are slightly blistered.
- Add the spinach. Gently toss with tongs until wilted, being careful not to break up the tomatoes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the tortellini and toss together with the sauce. Add additional olive oil to coat. Top with the reserved bacon and shaved parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately.