Pressure Cooker Pasta with Spinach Pesto – Casarecce ai Spinaci

pressure cooker pasta with spinach pesto
This recipe was born out of desperation and improvisation during a long Austrian winter. I turned to spinach when basil was nowhere in sight and we’d had about all of the tomato sauce we could take. Spinach pesto quickly turned into an all-year family favorite.

When I moved to only pressure cooking short pasta, I adapted the spinach pesto recipe to the pressure cooker as well!  If your family is squeamish about the texture of cooked spinach, you can run it thorough the chopper before cooking, or use chopped frozen spinach.  When in season, a bunch of well-cleaned roughly-chopped spinach (same weight as noted in the recipe) is perfect!If you’ve got a “picker” that will remove everything green, even if it’s on pasta, you can set your mind at ease knowing that some of the spinach vitamins will have been released in the cooking water and then absorbed by the pasta.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
5 L or larger none 5 min. Low (1) Quick or Normal

3.0 from 2 reviews
Pressure Cooker Pasta with Spinach Pesto Recipe
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 lb (500g) Casarecce or Fusilli or Rotini any other short, twirly pasta that can capture the Spinach
  • 1 lb (500g) Spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (2 smashed, 2 finely chopped or pressed)
  • ¼ cup or 2 oz (50g) Pine Nuts, whole or chopped according to preference
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 block of Cacio Ricotta (dried and salted ricotta cheese) or Pecorino Romano (optional)
  1. In the pre-heated pressure cooker, on medium-high heat without the lid, add a swirl of olive oil the smashed garlic cloves and spinach. Stir occasionally to ensure the spinach doesn't scorch and reduce all of the liquid. For fresh, or defrosted spinach... about 8-10 minutes (for frozen it may take about 15).
  2. Then, add the pasta, salt and enough water to cover the pasta. Mix well and smooth it out with your spatula to get an even layer.
  3. 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 5 minutes (or the recommended time).
  4. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure.
  5. Add the finely chopped or pressed garlic, give the contents a stir and let the pasta sit for about a minute while you gather the bowls and utensils.
  6. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of pine nuts a small swirl of fresh olive oil, and optional flakes of cheese (peel them off the block with a vegetable peeler).
  7. Caution your guests that the pasta is very hot and to test out the temperature before taking a big bite!

Pressure Cooked Pasta with Spinach Pesto Sauce