I have always loved spaghetti!
Perhaps as a kid I loved to slurp up each spaghetti strand even though I knew I would get “that Look” from my Mother and a stern reprimand.
I knew I could “get away with it” at least once a spaghetti meal.
However, I saw a informational segment on television not to long ago where a study was conducted on the “slurping” up of noodles and whether they actually tasted the noodles when not slurping. I believe the study was in the Orient where a lot of noodles are eaten.
And it was discovered that if one slurped….they actually tasted the flavorful noodles, whereas if they did not slurp, they thought the same noodles were bland tasting.
I still don’t think my Mother would have approved of noodle slurping.
this recipe is so good, you might want to try slurping the spaghetti…or not.
I was looking for a way to make spaghetti without using a pan to cook the ground beef AND a pot to boil the spaghetti AND a colander to drain said spaghetti…. and I looked at my trusty pressure cooker.
My grandmothers had a pressure cooker as did my aunt and my mother, but I never thought to cook spaghetti in it even though I have cooked lots and lots of meatballs and rice.
I actually have two electric pressure cookers, one large and one small… and one pressure cooker for the stove top. (The pic below is from a couple years ago….note the tan travertine backsplash that has since been painted white. 🙂 )
The smaller 3 quart pot is perfect for the Captain and me, while the larger one is capable of making larger portions of course.
So here is how I did it.
Most pressure cookers have a “saute” button….it is for browning roasts, etc before putting them under pressure.
We all know that the browning is what gives flavor to the pot roast and veggies.
So, I tossed ground beef into my cooker and tossed in a few chopped onions and minced garlic.
Then I let that meat mixture brown a bit. (stirring occasionally)
One does not have to stand over this while cooking, in fact I was getting my salad fixins’ ready, because the meal consisted of spaghetti, garden salad and garlic toast.
Then I added the uncooked noodles….any kind you prefer…and literally scattered them in the pot over the ground beef.
Then I added my spaghetti sauce, bottled or home made, your choice. I used whatever was on sale, Prego, I think, although I have used Classico.
Add the water and basil or parsley.
Pop the lid on and in 6-7 minutes…your spaghetti is ready.
Please my dear readers, do not be afraid of using a pressure cooker.
Today the market has “Instant Pots” which do everything for you, but put the food into the pot or cooker.
It amazes me at how easy these newer pots are to use… and the bonus is the food is cooked quickly to save time AND the flavor is better in my opinion.
I have made meat balls and rice in my pressure cooker for at least 50 years…so they have been around a long time.
Trust me, a pot roast and carrots and potatoes are amazing in a pressure cooker.
And soups? Oh my…..so good.
Navy bean soup, vegetable soup, chicken and noodles…are done in about 15-20 minutes in the pressure cooker.
And the price on these now-a-days is even better.
You can find the different sizes click here….and the prices vary of course, depending on sizes, but I saw them around 39.00 at Christmas.
As I said, I have had my pressure cookers for a long, long time, and they don’t have all the fancy buttons that the newer Instant Pot Pressure Cookers have…but most things keep getting better and easier to use.
And on my busy days, my pressure cooker is my friend.
Check out the recipe below and either follow it exactly or adapt it to your favorite recipe. Just toss it all together in the pot and enjoy it in 7 minutes.
As I said, I have made this recipe about three times and one time, the spaghetti seemed a little dry to me…not sure why, perhaps I didn’t add enough water, but as it sat, I added a small can of tomato sauce and it was perfect. I didn’t have to cook it in as the spaghetti was plenty hot as it was. Perhaps one could add a bit of water instead….BUT the other two times I made pressure cooker spaghetti, the recipe below was perfect.
I also added a small can of drained mushroom pieces one of the times and it was delish.
Oh, and one more confession, I used packaged egg noodles once, because I did not have spaghetti noodles on hand and they still tasted great. If your noodles are thick and you open the pot and they are a bit too el dente….just turn the pot back on for about 3 minutes more.
I think the key is to be sure the noodles are covered with something….like the sauce or tomatoes or water…just to cover, do not add too much liquid for your pot.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 # lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons minced or chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Spaghetti noodles for 4 (use what you normally would use for 4 servings)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (or you can use fresh)
- *1 jar marinara sauce, 24 oz (your favorite)
- 2 1/2 cups warm water
- Shredded parmesan cheese, (or grated in the jar) for serving
- Set pressure cooker or instant pot (as they call them these days), to "saute". Once the led dial light comes on to "hot" , add 1 tsp olive oil and the ground beef, breaking it up with a fork as you start the browning process. Add the onion and garlic if desired...and a bit of salt, and stir occasionally.
- This doesn't take long and the ground beef does not have to be perfectly browned because it is going to cook when you put the pressure on it.
- Turn the cooker off of the saute button which will turn the pressure cooker completely off which is what you want for the next step.
- Break the spaghetti noodles in half or even smaller pieces (if you desire) and toss half of them any which way over the ground beef. Add a small amount of the marinara (spaghetti) sauce and add in remainder of the spaghetti noodles and then add the remainder of the sauce. This will keep the noodles from sticking together.
- Add in tomatoes (if desired) and the warm water and a little salt and pepper but do NOT stir it.
- Close the lid of the pressure cooker and make sure your valve is set on "seal"
- Set the time for about 7 minutes, you can do this manually on most pressure cookers, although I think the newer "instant Pots" have that as a manual button.
- When the buzzer sounds, do a quick release (read your manufacturer directions)
- On mine I use a long handled wooden spoon and gently move the "seal" lever to exhaust which will expel the pressure that has built up. Your pressure cooker will sputter and steam will come out of the little exhaust hole but that is normal. Just make sure you don't put your face over the steam or you could burn yourself. Keep holding the lever until the little red pop-up indicator has dropped down and there is no more steam coming out of the valve.
- The lid will release easily now and you will see your completely cooked spaghetti and meat sauce just waiting to be finished up with a quick toss of the fork and a bit of fresh basil or parsley
- I like to let it set for a minute or two while I finish up the garden salad and the garlic toast.
- You can add parmesan cheese as desired and serve.
- *If you want your sauce to be a little "soupier", you can add a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes.
- I did not add the tomatoes to mine but it is a matter of preference. I have made this three times and each time I do something a little different....as long as you have the basics down....be my guest to personalize your spaghetti and sauce.
- **I cut this recipe in half for the Captain and me...it made plenty for two people.
- PLEASE DO NOT BE AFRAID OF PRESSURE COOKERS. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS AND YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANY ISSUES, I PROMISE! And the new Instant Pots are even easier to use as they have buttons to push for times, foods, etc.