Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Crispy Bacon

published May 14, 2020
Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Crispy Bacon

An easy recipe for cheese tortellini with bacon, asparagus, and peas in a light cream sauce.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 20 minutes

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Creamy Tortellini with spring vegetables in cast iron skillet
Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

This creamy tortellini skillet is my favorite way to show off spring’s MVPs: tender asparagus and sweet green peas. It’s also one of the smartest pasta dinners I make. Instead of boiling the tortellini separately, you’ll simmer it directly with the veggies and bacon, where it soaks up all the sweet and smoky flavors. Finish the whole thing off with a shower of grated Parm, and you’ve got a dinner win that celebrates the season.

An Endlessly Adaptable Spring Pasta Dinner

Flexibility is at the heart of this recipe. Either fresh or frozen cheese tortellini can be used, and the same goes for the peas. And if you don’t have any peas on hand (or even asparagus, for that matter), try other spring vegetables. Frozen edamame or shelled fava beans are a nice substitute for the peas, and sliced carrots or quartered radishes would be a colorful replacement for the asparagus. No matter what you use, the end result will be a festive ode to the season.

Credit: Jesse Szewczky

Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Crispy Bacon

An easy recipe for cheese tortellini with bacon, asparagus, and peas in a light cream sauce.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch

    asparagus (about 1 pound)

  • 6 slices

    bacon (about 6 ounces)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup

    water

  • 3/4 cup

    half-and-half

  • 2 cups

    fresh or frozen peas

  • 2 (about 8-ounce) packages

    fresh or frozen cheese tortellini, or 1 (about 19-ounce) bag

  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Trim the ends off 1 bunch asparagus, then cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Cut 6 slices bacon crosswise into 1/2-inch wide pieces.

  2. Place the bacon in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet and cook over medium-high heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the asparagus to the pan, and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until the asparagus is bright green but not yet tender, about 2 minutes.

  4. Pour in 1/4 cup water and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in 3/4 cup half-and-half and 2 cups peas. Increase the heat to medium high to bring the mixture to a simmer.

  5. Stir in the tortellini, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tortellini are plump, tender, and well coated in a creamy sauce, 3 to 5 minutes, or according to package instructions.

  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved bacon. Serve garnished with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.