In a large pot, cook the Tortellini until just undercooked. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
While the pasta is cooking, in a deep saute pan, cook the pancetta or bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels then drain all but a tablespoon of the grease from the pan.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds then add the cream. Heat over low-medium heat.
Add butter and whisk gently until melted. Mix in cheese until it melts into the sauce.
Add the spinach in batches and allow it to wilt into the sauce.
Drain the Tortellini, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the pan, gently toss to coat in the Alfredo sauce (adding some of the pasta water if needed to loosen).
Add the cooked pancetta or bacon. Top with more grated cheese and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
When cooking Tortellini, salt the water well so that it seasons the pasta. The best sauce in the world cannot fix bland pasta.
Cook the pasta until just underdone and allow it to finish cooking in the sauce so it absorbs the flavors gets well coated in the sauce.
Save some pasta water. It can be used to thin out the sauce.
Don’t use oil when cooking pasta it causes the sauce to just slip off the pasta instead of coating it.
UseCream with a high-fatcontent as it thickens when cooked without the use of a thickening agent.
Some Parmesan cheese is quite salty, so be sure to taste before seasoning.
Don’t Have Parmesan Cheese? Use Cheeses with lots of flavor that will melt easily into the sauce like Pecorino Romano, Asiago, or Grana Padano.
Serve imminently Alfredo sauce thickens as it cools and if left too long the tortellini will clump together.
For a vegetarian option omit the pancetta.
Variations: Add cooked chicken, shrimp for a whole new dish.