Monday, November 3, 2014

Meatballs and Marinara - Pressure Cooker Style (or slow cooker)

We are just a tad over three weeks away from Thanksgiving, canyoubelieveit?  The odds are, I won't be cooking this year.  That is, unless I can figure out how to make a turkey in my beloved pressure cooker, because my knee can't stand for that many hours at a time. In the meantime, I've been making a lot of meals in my slow cooker or pressure cooker, because I can handle about thirty minutes of standing...tops! 

My pressure cooker has been a blessing for me, while I'm slowing regaining the ability to stand and walk around in my kitchen.  I made this Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe before my most recent surgery. I wanted to wait until cooler weather, before posting it here, and because I want to make it again.

This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen "Pressure Cooker Perfection".  I've posted several recipes from this book, and there are a few more to come.  I don't make meatballs very often, but if I do, I like the idea of using a panade.

A what, you ask?  Prounced, Pa-Nod. With this recipe, panko crumbs and milk are combined to make a paste.  This will not only bind the meat together, but will prevent dry meatballs. Win.

I'm using a combination of ground beef and pork, sauteed onions, garlic, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese and egg. NOTE: In order to pressure cook the meatballs, they needed to be sturdy. ATK adjust the proportions of milk and bread crumbs to build a sturdy meatball, that wouldn't bust or turn mushy.

The meatballs are ready to go, so it's time to make the sauce.

Sure you can buy bottled spaghetti sauce. But if making your own is quick, easy and delicious-- wouldn't that be your first choice? This sauce did not disappoint at all.  I used fresh garlic, crushed tomatoes, onion, red pepper flakes and a little sugar. Using the browning cycle of my pressure cooker, it took about 10 minutes for the sauce to cook.  The meatballs are carefully submerged into the sauce...

The lid is clicked on, and cooked at high pressure for 5 minutes. Then a QUICK RELEASE is done, and there you go!  Total time to make this dinner was thirty minutes, start to finish!

What? You don't have a pressure cooker?  Well, you can adapt this to a slow cooker. You'd have to simmer the sauce on the stove, and I'd slow cook this for about six hours.  

Best of all, I save a couple of hours of slow simmering-- not that there's anything wrong with that! I wouldn't want to mess with someone's Mama, who makes the best authentic Italian meatballs. But, if you're looking for a shortcut that doesn't sacrifice flavor... this recipe is the one to do it. I love my pressure cooker!

TASTING NOTES: The meatballs held up really well. Okay, one or two broke apart just a teeny bit.  They were moist, and the sauce was as good as any I've had in a restaurant. This is super easy to make.

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.

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Barbara Bakes said...

It looks scrumptious. I'll have to give it a try soon.

Celyn PS said...

oh yum this looks really great! I love spaghetti and meatballs!


Big Dude said...

You sure make great use of your pressure cooker Debbie - I would have never thought of meatballs in it. I like the idea of milk and Panko in them.

Constance said...

I use an egg and bread crumb panod in my meatloaf--had not idea I was mixing in a panod--THANK YOU.

Joanne said...

Hmmm I bet you COULD slow cook the fact, I'm sure it would be ultra moist and awesome! Or get the husband to grill, perhaps....

I am constantly amazed by all the things you can make in a pressure cooker!

Jaden said...

I've learned something new!! Panade! Can't wait to try this.

p.s. The boys are asleep now, but they got your email and say, "HI! It's us!" LOL

Christine said...

Perfect, I was just thinking I wanted to try a new meatball recipe and here it is, slow cooker and all! Thank you. Hope your knee gets better faster and faster so you can get back to what you love, cooking up great dishes!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this recipe! I just received a pressure cooker for my birthday and I am so excited! My only newbie question... can this be doubled?

Anonymous said...

Well, I made this tonight and I despite the fact my brand new pressure cooker is faulty (adjust button on Instapot not working??)(, these are DELICIOUS! I did not double it like my question above, but I will next time. I think I have now read that you do not need to adjust times, the pressure adjusts accordingly. Thanks for the recipe.