Trendy cooking and a new partner!
If you’ve spent any time searching for recipes on the internet, you’ve likely run into a few references to this small kitchen appliance. A few companies make a similar unit now, but the original one came from a group of Canadian technology veterans who founded Instant Pot® in 2009.
So… what does the Instant Pot do?
Well… let me tell’ya! This thing’s really impressive. It sautés, sears, steams, pressure cooks, slow cooks, and apparently it can even make yogurt! What?! I can’t resist…I’ll definitely have to try that last one sometime.
I’ve had the Instant Pot since last week, and I’ve already used it 4 times. I’m not exaggerating. For me personally, it’s not about having lots of gadgets that help a little, it’s about having a few that help a lot. And with our full time jobs and our family’s busy schedule, I will definitely be using this… a lot.
How much faster is it?
Today’s recipe will give you an idea of how this small appliance changes things. My usual approach to making tomato sauce, is to sauté the onions and garlic in a large pot and then add the rest of the ingredients and slow cook the sauce for about 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
The process in this case was similar, but the difference was that once I closed the lid, the pot reached ‘high pressure’ in about 15 minutes and then cooked for 15 minutes on high pressure to finish off; and there was no stirring or effort required. That knocked off about 1 hour from my usual cooking time. It means I can make fresh tomato sauce for a weeknight dinner. How awesome is that!
Once the sauce is cooked, you have two options. If you’re in a rush, you can release the steam quickly and your sauce is ready to eat. If you have about 10-15 extra minutes, you can let the steam release naturally to bring out more flavour. Both approaches work nicely.
A resounding YES! The Instant Pot is well-built, safe (so much safer than the old manual pressure cookers), and it does what it claims to do. This will definitely speed things up in the kitchen for many of our weeknight meals. If you’ve been thinking about trying one of these, I say “go for it”. You’re going to wish you’d gotten one sooner.
In a hurry but still want to eat good homemade meals? The Instant Pot is here for you so you can eat well, friends.
This sauce tastes like it cooked for a couple of hours, but it’s ready in just over 30 minutes! Delicious home-cooked tomato sauce for weeknights.
- 1 large can (100 fluid ounces or 2.96 litres) whole peeled tomatoes, (my personal favourite is La San Marzano which I usually find at Costco)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium cooking onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 10 to 15 fresh basil leaves, rolled and diced (chiffonade)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp course sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
- 3/4 cups white wine
Plugin and set the Instant Pot to the Sauté setting.
Add the olive oil.
After 2 to 3 minutes, add the onion and garlic.
Stir occasionally for about 2 minutes or until the onions start to soften.
Add the sugar, basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, pepper flakes, wine and tomatoes.
Give the mix a quick stir and shut/lock the lid.
Make sure the lid is locked in place and the steam release handle is set to "Sealing".
Set to Manual mode and adjust the time to 15 minutes.
The instant pot will take about 15 minutes to reach high pressure and then it'll count down 15 minutes while it cooks. Note: This is a good time to cook your pasta so that it's all coming out at the same time.
Once the time ends (it'll beep), you have two options. Let the steam release on it's own (about 10 minutes) or switch the steam release handle to "venting" for an immediate steam release. Both options will give you great results. If you have a few extra minutes before needing the sauce, let the steam release slowly (on it's own) for a little extra flavour.
Once the pressure's released (the float valve on the lid drops), the lid unlocks and you can open it.
Use a hand blender to puree the cooked whole tomatoes to your preferred consistence (more or less chunky).
Adjust salt and pepper if needed and stir.
Serve the sauce hot over your favourite pasta and enjoy!
You can leave the blended sauce in the pot to stay warm. Once the Instant Pot is done cooking, it automatically switches to warm mode to keep the food hot.