Cheese tortellini take on the aromatic essence of bay leaves through a delicately infused cooking water. Briny preserved lemon, smoky bacon and earthy mushrooms round out this flavorful main course pasta.
Remove and discard pulp from preserved lemon. Rinse peel to remove excess salt. Coarsely chop peel (about 2 tablespoons). Set aside
Bring water and bay leaves to boil in large saucepot. Stir in tortellini. Cook as directed on package, adding frozen spinach during last minute of cooking. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Discard bay leaves
Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet on medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add shallots to bacon drippings; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add oil, mushrooms, garlic and preserved lemon peel; cook and stir 3 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add tortellini mixture and reserved cooking water; toss to mix well. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired
Test Kitchen Tips:
•Preserved Lemons can be easily made at home. They can also be purchased in specialty food stores and Middle Eastern markets.
•Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.