Monday, January 2, 2017

Instant Pot One Pot Pasta

This is a form of baked ziti with meat sauce, but all made in one pot. No more cooking in 2 pots on the stove and then in the oven in a third dish. The family loved this! 

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped (or these amazing frozen garlic chunks)
  • italian seasoning (I just eyeball this, but I'm guessing I used 1 tsp of salt, pepper, 1 tbsp dried parsley, 2 tsp dried basil, or these fabulous frozen basil chunks)
  • 1 lb ground beef (I prefer lean just so you don't have to drain it but up to you; could also use turkey, sausage, or no meat)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I like the Trader Joe's tomato & basil marinara)
  • 1 jar of water
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce (or more of the jar, but this is how I made it tonight so those are the ingredients I'm listing)
  • 1 lb your favorite tube pasta; we used penne pasta (tube just holds more stuff inside and tends to be better for this type of recipe)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, optional

  1. Select the saute function of your instant pot. Once heated, coat the bottom of your pot with olive oil. Once hot, add onion and saute for 2-3 mins. Then add the meat and break up as you cook it. I also added the seasoning here. I defrosted mine first to make it easier, plus then I could drain some of the fat before adding it. 
  2. Add garlic and basil if adding the frozen kind. Give it a good stir.
  3. Next layer in this order:
    1. pasta
    2. jar of sauce
    3. fill jar with warm water and pour around the sides of the IP, try not to dilute the pasta sauce on top. Just to be safe, I added the water before adding remaining tomato sauce.
    4. tomato sauce
  4. Do not stir it; you want it to cook with everything layered this way. Don't ask me why, but it worked really well this way. the meat even got a little crispy at the bottom, which we liked. Plus then the sauce isn't watery, the water cooks the pasta below and helps the bottom of the IP not burn.
  5. Secure lid on top; make sure pressure valve is on seal. Cancel the saute function and hit "manual" and adjust time to 7. Mine took about 10 minutes to build enough pressure to start the cooking time. So I would give yourself 20 minutes for this to cook.
  6. Once it is done cooking and beeps, using a towel, turn the pressure valve to release and do a Quick Release. It may overcook the pasta if you let naturally release.
  7. Once the pressure is released, take the lid off, and stir in the cheese. (Or do it after you serve it but this makes everything cheesy). Make sure to stir well as all the meat is at the bottom. 
  8. Enjoy!!

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