by Kara Kimbrough
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-pound bacon, fried and coarsely chopped (or more favorite meat: ground chuck, sausage or chopped ham)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated three cheese tortellini (you can used dried pasta if you can’t find refrigerated)
10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained well
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped basil
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cooked bacon pieces or other meat, then stir in garlic, onion and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
Gradually whisk in chicken stock and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in tortellini; cover and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.