Spicy Pressure Cooked Pasta Butterflies – the secret to AL DENTE pressure cooker pasta!
The literal translation of Arrabiata is Angry but that what Italians call something hot and spicy like this pasta!
Cooked in the sauce, and not just coated with it, the pasta changes color and promises to be flavorful, spicy – and also al dente! Here is the recipe and “secret formula” to always get perfectly cooked pasta from your pressure cooker.
Since the cooking time for each brand, and shape, of pasta vary always refer to the pasta package to determine the correct cooking time. Then, cut that time in half to determine the LOW Pressure cooking time. If the pasta would normally 12-13 minutes it should be pressure cooked on LOW for 6, 10-11 minutes pressure cook for 5, and 8-9 minutes should be pressure cooked for 4. If the pasta needs 7 minutes or less to cook using the traditional method, the shape is not a good candidate to pressure cook. This timing formula also works on specialty grain, and gluten-free pastas.
In Italy, the cooking time of pasta is almost always in the front, but in other countries the cooking time could be written on the side or back. of the package or box.
Be sure to use a digital timer, cell phone or microwave clock to keep track of such a short cooking time.
The kinds of pasta you can pressure cook:
Any short to medium cut hard semolina pasta can be pressure cooked. Nests of dried egg fettucine can also be pressure cooked they should be strained since they require more water to cook than they will absorb. Frozen or dried stuffed pasta, like ravioli or tortellini, may work – follow a specific recipe to be sure you don’t get a watery sauce.
You SHOULD NOT pressure cook:
- Any pasta that requires 7 minutes or less will not give you al dente results.
- Spaghetti. You cannot break Spaghetti it in half to fit it in your pressure cooker. Ever.
- Orechiette. They have a tendency to fall into little stacks and will turn into a solid mass in the pressure cooker.
- Very small pasta intended for soups like Stelline, Quadratini, Orzetto cold clog the safety mechanisms of your pressure cooker. However, they can be added after pressure cooking the sauce or soup in the open pressure cooker – follow a specific recipe.
- Fresh pasta will fall apart if pressure cooked
- Potato Gnocchi need to stop cooking when they float, if you cannot see them you cannot stop your pressure cooker. However, there is a pasta “shape” called Gnochetti which is made of semolina flour and they are ok to pressure cook.
Spicy Pressure Cooked Pasta Butterflies Recipe
This recipe can easily be halved or increased by 50% .Doubling it is tricky because of the extra time the pasta will need to cook while the fuller pressure cooker reaches pressure. Don’t do less than half of this recipe, unless you can meet your specific pressure cooker’s minimum liquid requirements with the tomato sauce and water!
2 cloves Garlic, smashed
In the cold (not-pre-heated) pressure cooker, on low heat without the lid, add two swirls of olive oil, the smashed garlic cloves, hot peppers/flakes and oregano (grinding it between your fingers as you sprinkle it in the pan). Allow the ingredients to infuse the oil until you hear the garlic cloves sizzle and turn lightly golden.
Pour in the pasta, the tomato puree and just enough water to cover the pasta- it’s ok if a few points stick out here and there – and the salt (do not omit this since you would ordinarily add salt to the pasta cooking water). Stir everything together and you might want to flatten the pasta out in an even layer with your wooden spoon, or spatula, to make sure as many farfalle are immersed as possible.
Set the pan to cook on LOW pressure. Turn the heat up to high and when the pan has reached LOW pressure, lower the heat and count 6 minutes, or the recommended time. When time is up, open the pressure cooker using the cold-water quick-release method – take your pressure cooker to the sink and carefully run water over the top ensuring not to cover any of the valves.
For Electric Pressure Cookers: Open using the Normal Method – turn the valve or button to release pressure. Since Electric Pressure cookers differ in their time to pressure, cooking pressure, and require a Normal release (which can take up to two minutes) you may need to shave off an additional minute or two from the pressure cooking time to achieve al dente results.
Give the contents a stir and let the pasta sit for about a minute while you gather the bowls and utensils. The pasta is still cooking from the heat of the pressure cooker so don’t leave it longer than that. Then, serve and caution your guests that the pasta is very hot and to test out the temperature before taking a big bite! Top each bowl with a small swirl of fresh olive oil.
This recipe is part of the Better Pressure Cooker Pasta recipe series!