Tortellini is coated in a rich, carbonara-inspired cream sauce flavored with salty parmesan cheese, garlic, and smoky bacon. Dinner in under 20 minutes? You can bet on it!
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So are we ready for an easy and super delish pasta dish?
I swear, you’d never would’ve guessed I didn’t grow up eating much pasta at all with all the pasta dishes I got going on here. My gnocchi with bacon cream sauce post has been going crazy since spring, being both my most popular recipe AND my top pin with over 50k repins. Wow, y’all. You really love it!
So I thought I might switch it up and make a tortellini in bacon cream sauce.
I was originally going to call this ‘tortellini carbonara’, because it’s very similar to how carbonara is made. But I don’t want the tomatoes thrown at me about how tortellini isn’t in carbonara and that carbonara doesn’t have milk or cream, and that it’s not authentic.
Lordy, I know. This isn’t ‘authentic’ (or at least I don’t think it is). But it’s dang good, it’s quick to make, easy to do, and kids love it.
I use cheese tortellini in this recipe because I consider it incredibly “littles-friendly”. Kids love pastas, especially in fun shapes. But pasta full of cheese coated with the flavor of smoky bacon and rich, creamy, cheesy sauce? Forget about it!
My four year old (he just turned four this month! What?!) even loves this tortellini dish when I sneak in veggies like chopped spinach or mushrooms. The hubby, too. Bacon just makes everything great for picky eaters. And men. Put bacon on anything and I’m sure a man will be somewhere close by, plate in hand!
Serve your tortellini (with all of its tasty bacon cream sauce!) with a nice side salad (and if you’re running an Italian theme dinner night, try making crispy fried calamari as an appetizer!) and a light citronette.
Then sprinkle a nice helping of parmesan and fresh chopped parsley on top of everything. You know, to keep it healthy.
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- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 4-5 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cream or milk
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 lb cheese tortellini
- Chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Season generously with salt.
- While water is coming to temperature, in a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add bacon, and cook for 5 minutes, then add shallots and stir occasionally to ensure the shallots don't burn. Cook until bacon is to desired crispness. Turn heat to low and add garlic. Stir well for 30 seconds and turn off heat.
- While the bacon and shallots are cooking, the water in the pot should come to boil. Add your tortellini, it should cook in about 2-4 minutes per package instructions. Drain liquid and add tortellini to skillet/duct oven.
- Cream Sauce
- In a bowl, whisk together parmesan, cream, and egg yolks well. Pour sauce over tortellini and bacon mixture in the skillet and toss together well, yet gently to not break open tortellini, to mix the bacon, shallots and garlic with the egg, cream, and parmesan sauce and coat each tortellini well.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve with extra parmesan and chopped parsley.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410
See y’all in the next post!
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.