Okay, MLC, you convinced me to buy an Instant Pot. I’ve found groups online and some cookbooks for it. Make my life easy, though. Can you give me the ultimate quick and easy family recipe for it?
If you’ve followed me for awhile, you’ve like already seen my Instant Pot Indian Dal and Steamed Artichoke recipes. Those are very easy-peasy. I want to go one step further, though, and recommend a technique for making a family favorite—pasta and meatballs—that works like a charm, thanks to Lemon Lavender Love.
Lemon Lavender Love has a host of terrific recipes for the Instant Pot and beyond. Have you checked her out? Do it!
I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago, and was absolutely hooked. Frozen meatballs, some water, some dry pasta, and sauce, all dumped into the Instant Pot in the order she prescribes, come out beautifully in under 20 minutes, start to finish.
Not mushy. Not overdone. It’s a little shocking, actually.
On days when I think I can’t possibly have the time to cook, this recipe is a lifesaver.
Now, I will tell you, I have tweaked her original a bit, and I really like the results. Use her technique, but give these modifications a try:
- In lieu of 3 cups water, I use 2 and 1/2 cups water, plus 1/2 cup wine. YUM.
- Instead of a jar of sauce, I use a large can of crushed or puréed tomatoes. I then add salt (2-3 teaspoons) and ample seasonings (basil, oregano, garlic, crushed red pepper, etc.), as well as a teaspoon of tomato paste (if I have it on hand.)
- While cooking, I place a half an onion in with the sauce, for flavor. I remove the onion before serving.
- As soon as I open the Instant Pot, I throw in a few healthy handfuls of baby spinach, and allow it to wilt as I stir.
- When the pasta is done, I do not add a second jar of tomatoes or sauce, I add 1-2 tablespoons of half and half, then some parmesan cheese. (Instead of half and half, you could substitute a tablespoon of olive oil or butter.)
Our grocery routinely has two-for-one sales on frozen meatballs, cans of tomatoes, and boxes of pasta, so this recipe is also a winner for frugality. Make your own meatballs to freeze, or can your own garden tomatoes, and you can get even more delicious bang for your buck. You can splurge on the really good parmesan cheese when the rest of your ingredients are so inexpensive, after all.
I am very grateful to have found this technique for Instant Pot pasta, and am looking forward to trying other versions with chicken instead of meatballs, lemon juice and stock instead of sauce and water, bow ties instead of penne, etc.
Give it a try, and let your creativity guide you to lots of new options!
(For those interested, you may purchase an Instant Pot via Amazon. This is my affiliate link—should you click on it and make a purchase, I may receive a portion of the sales price. Thank you!)