One-Pot Spaghetti in the Pressure Cooker

Yes!  You can!  (but do you want to?)  Honestly, you have to be one of us strange people who LOVE our noodles cooked in the sauce.

I did one test cook of spaghetti in the pressure cooker.  It had that yummy flavor of having simmered all day in a pot on a stove.  Thing is: cook time was 5 minutes at pressure!  (that figure is misleading however; I pre-sautéd the meat, onions, and peppers, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes for the pressure cooker to come to temperature,  after 5 minutes cooking at pressure I allowed it to sit for 10 minutes (we call that Normal Pressure Release, or NPR) before doing the Quick Release (QR) of any remaining pressure.

RECIPE:

1 lb. ground beef, browned & drained
1/2 onion, sautéd
1 red bell pepper, sautéd
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 6oz. can tomato paste
1/2 box of thin spaghetti noodles
water – quantity equal to quantity of sauce & paste
dash of red wine
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Here’s the trick to this: the order that you place things in the pressure cooker is critical (to prevent burning), and you do not stir.

1. add beef to pressure cooker
2. add water/wine
3. add noodles (broken in smaller pieces if you desire)
4. add sauce and paste
5. add onion & pepper
6. add spices
7. For electric pressure cooker, cook at high pressure for 1/2 the cook time recommended on your box of noodles (that’s how I got 5 minutes cook time).
8. allow cooker to NPR for 10 to 15 minutes
9. QR – quick release of remaining pressure
10. open lid, stir contents, make sure noodles are cooked to your satisfaction and that the taste is pleasing.
11. If you feel your spaghetti is too watery (mine wasn’t), set pressure cooker to ‘Keep Warm’ and allow sauce to simmer down.

Meat, water, then noodles have been added
Meat, water, then noodles have been added
Done!
Done!
Thick and delicious
Thick and delicious

Getting the Most From Your Cooking

Don’t you just love it when you prepare a meal that fills your kitchen with wonderful aromas, tastes great, and makes everyone happy? I love to cook for others even more than for myself. It’s a special way of sharing.

Delicious, nutritious, and satisfying are all very worthy goals in our cooking.

The very best way I know of to cook foods properly is by cooking them to a correct (doneness) temperature or temperature range, in some cases.  It is the only way to know if your food is undercooked, correctly cooked, or overcooked.  Undercooked can be dangerous.  Overcooked, you are losing nutrients and pleasing textures.

thermapen
Thermapen Taking A Reading

Knowing when food is correctly cooked is a special challenge with pressure cooking because your food is locked inside a chamber and you cannot check it until the cooking process is complete.  That is frustrating, and requires experimentation in order to figure out what time for what food will get you in the ‘properly cooked’ zone.

A good instant read thermometer is your best friend here, as well as having a reliable goal “doneness temperature” (can be found online, usually).  After that, it depends on your palate; your own sense of what tastes good and feels good in your mouth.

Instant read thermometers can be found at very affordable prices.  A Google search on “<food item> doneness temperature” will usually get you a goal temperature to shoot for.

thermometer_quiche
This quiche was tasty, but overcooked! (quiche is done at 160°F)