pressure cooker pasta using local and seasonal vegetables
Pasta in pressure cooker and that too using loads of local and seasonal vegetables.
Wouldn’t that taste like a subzi?
This was a question sent to me privately when I posted a picture of my pressure cooker pasta on Instagram. There were concerns of the pasta getting over cooked or being lost in the overload of vegetables etc but the most worrisome thought was whether it will taste like an Indian curry if we use local vegetables.
I have been making pressure cooker pasta for the husband’s lunch box for several years now. See this pressure cooker herbed pasta shared on facebook page in the 'lunch box ideas for adults' album.
I started making this one pot pressure cooker pasta just for convenience earlier as I am not a morning person and cooking a proper delicious lunch box felt too much of work in the beginning when he needed to carry a lunch box after his transfer, I noticed the pressure cooker pasta is much more suited for a lunch box meal regarding taste and texture as well.
The pressure cooker pasta absorbs all the flavours of the sauce or seasonings it is cooked in and the texture remains soft and yet retains a bite even when the pasta gets cold. They have reheating facility but he often forgets that, the lunch box contents have to be suited for room temperature consumption I figured.
While I use the herbs growing in my garden mostly for flavour, the vegetables are always seasonal and I never shy away from using the local varieties too. While pumpkin, aubergines, mushrooms and of course tomatoes are used freely along with zucchini, cauliflowers, broccoli etc, I have used kundru (Ivy gourd) too quite often and have loved the result.
But I found the recipes so simple and downmarket (a lazy woman’s short cut) that I never thought of sharing the recipe here on the blog. But when this Instagram post generated so much interest I thought of sharing the recipe of pressure cooker pasta as I understand it is a useful recipe that helps one eat healthy everyday meals.
Eating healthy meals everyday is the motto of this blog as you know.
200 gm ivy gourds (kundru or tendli)
1 summer carrot
100 gm piece of yellow pumpkin
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
¼ cup of tomato concasse or marinara sauce (homemade)
¼ tsp red chili flakes and little paprika if you wish
Salt to taste
100 gm tubular pasta of choice (macaroni works better as it doesn’t break when you stir or scoop the pasta really hot after pressure cooking)
120 ml chicken stock or water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or a little more if you wish
Chop all vegetables in small bits. Note that chopping is the key to the saucy pasta dish in case of pressure cooked pasta.
Pour extra virgin olive oil in a 2 or 3 litre pressure cooker pan and add the garlic to it. Now place the pan over gas flame and let the garlic sizzle lightly for a second. Add all the chopped vegetables together and stir to mix. Add salt, chili flakes and paprika if using and keep tossing or stirring for 3-5 minutes till the vegetables look glazed.
Add the tomato concasse, stir to mix. Add the uncooked pasta and the chicken stock (or water), mix well and push all the pasta down to stay partially submerged in the vegetables and stock to allow even cooking of pasta while under pressure.
Cover the lid and cook on high flame till 3 whistles are blown in quick succession. Switch off the gas and let the pressure subside on its own. Once the pressure cooker cools down you can open the lid and serve the pasta right away or pack in lunch boxes.
I prefer serving this pasta with either boiled eggs or shredded boiled chicken or frozen home made meatballs to make this a complete meal. Boiled eggs are much more convenient for lunch boxes though. I wouldn’t mind paneer or textured soy chunks as a vegetarian option.
If you wish to cook the eggs in the same pressure cooker as I shared in the Instagram post, just use the spatula to push aside all the pasta to empty space at the base of the pressure cooker and break eggs in that space. Cover and cook for a a couple of minutes or till you get the desired consistency of yolks.
Do let me know whenever you try the pressure cooker pasta recipe.
Note that the amount of chicken stock or water used here is just right to pressure cook the pasta to the right degree of al dente that we prefer. If you increase the cooking time the pasta can get over cooked and if you increase the water content the pasta will have some liquid at the bottom that you can reduce by cooking it on high flame for a minute. The water content of the vegetables also helps in cooking the pasta while under pressure and if your vegetables are really fresh you might need just a 100 ml water for this recipe.
Don’t worry too much about the water content for this pressure cooker pasta recipe and get cooking in your own kitchen to see how saucy you like your pasta and adjust this recipe accordingly.