Sunday, June 08, 2014

Whole Wheat Pasta with Pressure Roasted Vegetables (No Added Fat)

I have been thinking of making pasta in my Instant Pot and envision a recipe where I cook penne or other small pasta along with sauce, and hope for no splattering by cooking at low pressure. One recipe I have found is Tim's Pressure Cooker Pasta, but I wanted to try this in baby steps. Today, I thought I'd first roast an onion and some garlic cloves, then add tomato and do a saute in-pan.

My Dad is still in the hospital but seems to be doing well. He will likely have to eat less acidic food, so that triggered me as well to do a pasta experiment tonight. Here is what I did.

  • Half medium Vidalia (or other) onion, cut into large 1" half moons
  • 6 cloves garlic roughly chopped into 1/2" cubes
  • Broccoli bunch, stalk cut into 1/4" cubes, crown cut into 1/4" or 3/8" slices
  • 2 ounces water
  • One 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes (or a favorite tomato sauce)
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 4 ounces of crumbled seitan
  • 1/8 t dried oregano
  • A few tablespoons of red (or other) onion - I used baby red onion bulbs
  • Six large fresh basil, chopped to a 1/2" dice
  • (optional) 2T nutritional yeast
  • 1/4t salt
  • 2t capers (or skip entirely and add another 1/4 t salt)


  1. I put the onion, garlic, broccoli, and water into the pressure cooker and cooked on high for 5 minutes
  2. I turned the cooker off and let it cool down a bit for a few minutes, then slowly released pressure and opened the top
  3. I added the diced tomato, bell pepper, seitan, and dried oregano; keeping the cover off, I set the Instant Pot to saute on low
  4. The pot comes up to heat fairly quickly, and I stirred occasionally and turned the pot off after 15m
  5. I then added the red onion, basil, nutritional yeast, salt, and capers
  6. I served atop whole wheat pasta (which took 12m to cook the traditional way in boiling water in a stock pan), along with carrot and hearts of palm

How could one go wrong with such good ingredients? The pasta was good and hearty. I love what the pressure cooker did to the onion (soft and mild in flavor) and garlic (hardly noticeable so a good way to get nutritional benefits of garlic without a lot of strong flavor; some fresh garlic added to the saute could have added more flavor punch, if desired. The broccoli, as well, benefited by pressure cooking by being soft and blending in nicely with the sauce.

Ideas for the future

The sauce, obviously, would be even better, at least to my taste, with some crushed red pepper simmered with the ingredients but I keep low on such heat because of my daughter (I did add crushed red pepper when I served to my wife and me). I could experiment with adding additional vegetables to be pressure cooked, such as artichoke, squash, and even carrot. The seitan was nice and some vegan sausage would be even better, like the Field Roast apple sage or Italian types. I can't wait to experiment and figure out how to cook pasta start to finish, noodles included and without much splattering of sauce into the top of the cooker, all in the Instant Pot.

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