Monday, March 20, 2017

Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs

So, I got an instant pot.  On Amazon Prime day.  It was a super duper deal.  If you don't know what this is, you have been living under a rock.

It's a 6-in-1 or 7-in-1 combo appliance which is the best thing since sliced bread. Or so they say.  I heard lots about it forever and ever, before I finally bought one.  It's a Canadian invention, I think.  So, thanks!

Why did you need one?  Good question. I already have a crock pot, a rice cooker, a yogurt maker, and two pressure cookers.  Did I get rid of those?  Of course not.

Anyway, unfortunately I haven't tried a lot of things, because I'm too busy to try new recipes.  Thanks baseball.  And full time job.

What I *have* been using it for is recipes that I already made and liked, and adjusted.  The instant pot has been great for cooking dried beans (without paying attention to a pressure cooker).  I haven't tried yogurt (too busy for that).  I have a great recipe for Mediterranean chickpeas and rice - I used to make it in the stovetop pressure cooker, but I had issues with burning.  Perfect in the instant pot.

So here's the magic: one pot pasta.  I've waxed about how awesome this is before.  Problem is: it sticks to the bottom of my enamel cast iron dutch oven.  When I got the instant pot, I googled pasta.  I found a bunch of recipes.  I merged them together to try and match what I was already doing.

And so here it is, with one caveat: I've never done it.  It's totally my husband's meal, usually on Thursday but sometimes Monday.  I decided to blog it in case we accidentally throw away the back of the envelope that it is written on.

One (instant) pot pasta:
1/2 an onion, diced
other veggies as desired, diced
olive oil
1 24-oz jar of spaghetti sauce
1 24-oz jar of water
12 ounces of pasta (I use penne, fusilli, whole wheat works well too)
frozen meatballs (I think we use about 1/2 bag, so 8-12 ounces)

1.  Turn on the instant pot to saute. Add oil and onion and veg, saute until soft.
2.  Add pasta, sauce, water, and meatballs
3.  Press cancel on the pot to stop saute
4.  Close lid, make sure vent is turned to "close"
5.  Press "Manual"
6.  Set time to 5 minutes

It will start on its own.  Heat up, get to pressure, cook 5 min at pressure.  When done, let it natural release for 10 mins (counts down too), then open vent for quick release.


Now, if you are a pasta snob...keep walking.  This absorbs the sauce into the pasta.  It's delicious.  It's easy.  The kids love it.  It's not fancy.  It won't come out al dente.  It's a bit mushier than the standard 1-pot pasta.  But I don't care.

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