Lemon-Bay Tortellini with Spinach & Wild Mushrooms Recipe
I'm going to make this tonight without the bacon. It is still good for a vegetarian meal.
1/2 preserved lemon (see below)
2 McCormick Bay Leaves
1 package (12 ounces) cheese tortellini
2 cups frozen leaf spinach, unthawed
4 strips bacon
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
8 ounces sliced assorted mushrooms
1 teaspoon McCormick Minced Garlic
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Remove and discard pulp from preserved lemon. Rinse peel to remove excess salt. Coarsely chop peel (about 2 tablespoons). Set aside.
2. 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.
3. 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.
To prepare with fresh spinach: Cook tortellini as directed, omitting the frozen leaf spinach. Cook bacon and mushrooms as directed. Stir in 1 package (6 ounces) baby spinach leaves until slightly wilted. Continue as above.
Although preserved lemons can be found at some specialty food stores, making your own requires just three basic ingredients - lemons, salt and time (it takes at least three weeks before the lemons are ready to use). For added dimension, bay leaves can even be included in the preserving salt. It is the supple rind of preserved lemons that is most valued - sliced, chopped or minced to complement the texture of the dish. For step-by-step instructions, visit mccormick.com.
(reprinted with permission from McCormick)