When I was a kid, pasta with bacon, peas, and a little cream was one of the meals my mom would throw together when time was short and it was always met with cheers. This is a surprisingly light take on that childhood favorite and one that can easily be made vegetarian with either veggie bacon or mushrooms.
8oz. turkey, pork, or vegetarian bacon, preferably nitrite-freeor use sliced cremini mushrooms
12 - 16oz.cheese tortellini (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
1 1/2cupsfrozen peas
1Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2cupgrated Parmesan cheese
Cook the bacon according to the package directions until it is crisp, and dice it into 1/2-inch pieces (or sauté the mushrooms in 1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil over medium heat).
Meanwhile, cook the tortellini according to the package directions until it is al dente. One minute before draining the pasta, add the peas to the tortellini and its boiling water, and then drain it all together.
Return the tortellini and peas to the pot over low heat, stir in the olive oil and cheese, and top it with the bacon (or mushrooms) before serving it, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook, dice, and refrigerate the bacon (or saute and refrigerate the mushrooms), cook the tortellini and peas and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, grate the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Use freshly grated aged Parmesan cheese and season the dish with freshly ground black pepper.
Tip: This recipe is a real winner with my kids. When I make this, I often double it and send leftovers to school with them the next day.
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