Most cooks consider pasta to be a simple cooking task. However, the pressure cooker takes this easy preparation to a whole new level. Pressure cookers are a hot item right now and don’t require boiling water before adding pasta to cook. Generally, pasta takes 5-10 minutes to cook. Then, you can mix with other ingredients or sauce to create a meal in no time. New to using the pressure cooker for pasta? Here’s what you need to know.
Know Your Pressure Cooker Terms
Pressure cookers build pressure quickly when cooking and require a sealed lid. The pressure release is usually a small knob on top of the lid. A slow release after cooking means to leave the knob in place and naturally let the pressure release. A quick release means to move the knob and let the pressure steam out quickly. Typically, water is needed with most items to ensure maximum pressure.
Choose Your Recipe
The rising popularity of pressure cookers has sparked the adaptation of a large variety of pasta recipes for pressure cooking. If you are craving homemade macaroni and cheese, then this recipe from the Food Network is a great option. With only five ingredients, this recipe is perfect for those who are busy and also on a budget. Are you craving the old favorite of spaghetti and meatballs? Try this pressure cooker spaghetti from Cooking Classy, which you can prepare in less than 30 minutes.
Cook Your Pasta
Pressure cookers work best for cooking more than two cups of pasta. If you are making pasta for a large group, you can even cook the entire box in one batch. The most important thing to remember when cooking pasta is to add enough water. It should measure one half to one inch above the pasta. Pressure cookers have limits for how full you can fill them. You want to make sure the water level needed for pasta is below the fill line. If it’s too much, you’ll have to take out some of the pasta so the pressure cooker can cook properly.
Once you have the right amount of pasta and water in your pressure cooker, you’re ready to move on. Now, seal the pressure cooker and program it to pressure cook for 4 minutes. When the cook time is complete, you can use a quick release to release the pressure. Mix the pasta around to ensure it’s the desired firmness.
Enjoy the Benefits
Cooking pasta, especially in large amounts, is much quicker using a pressure cooker. By adding the pasta with water before setting the pressure cooker to pressurize and cook, this allows consumers to prepare other ingredients for the pasta dish or meal, instead of having to tend the boiling water and pasta. You also can avoid having water boil over and dirtying your stove by using the sealed pressure cooker and abiding by the recommended maximum water levels.