pressure cooker spaghetti and meatballs


Making spaghetti and meatballs in the pressure cooker is the ultimate one-pot meal. Aside from the prep (20 minutes, because I like to grind my own meat), cooking took just 5 minutes and the rest period was 10 minutes. Quite easy! I liked the way the pasta turned out. The sauce saturated the pasta and made it juicy and flavorful. I would have liked more sauce though, and will increase the amount of tomatoes the next time I make this recipe. Of course I increased the garlic. One can never have too much garlic.

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs (adapted from NY Times Cooking)

Spaghetti Sauce:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (14.5 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 basil sprigs, plus more thinly sliced for garnish
8 oz spaghetti, broken in half
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1 pound (500 g) ground meat (beef, pork, veal, or turkey)
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced

In the pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons oil in the pot. Stir in the garlic, red pepper, and black pepper, and sauté on medium high heat for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and basil sprigs. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes on low heat.

Make the meatballs. In a large bowl, combine meat, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, basil, egg, salt, and garlic. Roll into 1 ¼-2 inch balls. This recipe makes about 12 meatballs.

Pour 1 cup water in the pot with the sauce, scraping up any browned bits in the bottom of the pot. Scatter uncooked spaghetti over the sauce. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil over spaghetti, stirring gently. Top with meatballs.

Cover and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Manually release the pressure, then remove the cover to separate the spaghetti. Stir in 2 tablespoons Parmesan. At this point, the pasta will be almost but not quite cooked al dente. Replace the top of the pressure cooker, loosely, and let sit for 3-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened and spaghetti is al dente but not mushy. Serve with thinly sliced basil and more Parmesan, if desired.

I served this dish with a simple tomato-cucumber-pepper salad and garlic toast.