Today we have a modern twist to our favorite dish, it is all-new spicy penne pasta with Instant pot. Super quick, easy, and the most straight forward recipe that never fails. Al dente Penne pasta drenched in the marinara sauce with the Italian herbs. A complete healthy Italian dinner is ready within minutes.
Our recent trip to Italy activated our family’s tastebuds towards the Italian flavors. now, what? I’m throwing in the Italian herbs wherever I could. And this simple trick brings a big smile on my family’s face. What it does mean? This very tiny step makes me happy and my guys at home happy.
What next? Guess your family’s pulse and step forward to it. Even a small step makes a whole lot different.
A few weeks before, I made Penne Pomodoro which I have already shared with you. Today is one step further to make this hot pot penne pasta with a more easy method and recipe.
No Instant pot? nothing to bother. You may also use your pressure cooker or the regular stovetop option. For your convenience, we are discussing all three below.
This spicy penne pasta recipe needs only a few ingredients. That is penne pasta, marinara sauce, dried oregano, and basil.
I have worked out the Instant pot penne pasta recipe with the homemade marinara sauce. But if you prefer, you can go ahead with the store-bought marinara sauce. Which is a time-saving factor, helps for effortless cooking at the same time.
Cooking with the Pressure cooker
The cooking method and processes are similar in both cooking pasta in the pressure cooker and cooking penne pasta in an electric cooker.
All the following instructions and suggestions apply to cook pasta in a pressure cooker also.
Other variations that taste delicious
- Marinara sauce and the penne pasta are made for each other. Furthermore, if these ingredients are together, the best results are assured for sure like this spicy penne pasta. But you can use the same recipe with many other alternatives.
- Swap penne pasta with spaghetti.
- Substitute marinara sauce with alfredo sauce.
- I made the pasta without cheese. But stir in cheese for cheesy, creamy penne pasta.
- Combine vegetables for a nutrious rich diet.
- Enhance the flavors with your favorite herbs, whatever it works for you.
- Convert to a wholesome dish by enriching with meat.
- Chicken, meatballs, and seafood taste delicious with this spicy penne pasta.
Pro tips for cooking penne pasta in Instant pot
Choose your penne pasta from the varieties available in the market. I did not realize that these bunch of penne pasta available in the market. I surprised to see many apart from the broad varieties like whole wheat, multi-grain, and gluten-free. Here are the few to name some, chickpea, red lentil, brown rice, protein-rich, and ancient grain penne pasta.
Choose the sauce.
We have used the homemade spicy marinara sauce for this Instant pot penne pasta, which I have my refrigerator. I made this sauce in a large quantity from the last batch of tomato harvesting from my garden. I find this combo is an all-time favorite of my family. If you choose this option, you may compose either with homemade or store-bought sauce depending on your schedule.
You may also try testing with other vegan pasta sauces like,
- Cream of mushroom pasta sauce
- Sweet potato pasta sauce
- Vegan alfredo sauce
- Pumpkin pasta sauce
- Butternut squash mac and cheese
Or on the other hand, you may try this Instant pot pasta with readymade jar sauce as well.
Choose the herbs
Oregano and basil are my ultimate choice when talking about the penne pasta. As it coats well and gives out the immense flavor in every bite. Or to put in a simpler way, you can use mixed Italian herbs. A quarter teaspoon of this herb goes a long way in the recipe of spicy penne pasta.
Normal cooking time for regular penne pasta is 3 minutes for the perfect Italian style al dente texture. But cook for 4 minutes if you prefer soft pasta.
Please make a note that each entity of pasta has its cooking time as per the package. So the cooking time is not standard and varies in Instant pot cooking as well.
The general rule of thumb for cooking pasta in Instant pot is,
- Check for the cooking time in the package’s instruction.
- Take the minimum cooking time mentioned in the instruction. Divide it by two and subtract by 1.
- For example, if the package says, cooking time is 12-14 minutes. Take 12 minutes and divide by 2. Which is 6 and subtract it by 1. The answer is 5. So cook for 5 minutes.
- We can also create a formula for easy remembrance. That is,
- Instant pot pasta cooking time=[(X/2)-1], where X is the minimum cooking time in the instruction manual.
- This calculated cooking time is for perfectly cooked penne pasta for the Instant pot and pressure cooker.
- If you prefer extra firm, reduce the cooking time by 1 minute.
- If you prefer the soft texture, add the cooking time by 1 minute.
- .Personally, I would suggest to check with the calculated cooking time first and adjust the cooking time according to your individual preferences in the following time. Make a note of the effective time for future use.
Whether you use Instant pot or pressure cooker. Release the pressure once cooked. If we leave in the cooker unattended, the pasta may get soaked in the sauce and becomes soggy.
Some of the pasta brands and some of the variations tend to foam while releasing the vent. So intermittent release will help us in Instant pot penne pasta.
The intermittent release. Once the cooking cycle is over, turn the vent from sealing position to the XXX position. When you see large droplets and the return the vent again to sealing position. Wait for 20-30 seconds. Repeat the process until the pressure completely released. A safety tip-Be cautious in doing this as the steam is hot.
Soft release. Or you may also slightly open the vent, but watch an eye as it may lather up on the top.
Instant pot pasta water ratio
I prefer the sauce to coat my pasta well, neither watery nor thick. For this type of texture, the right proportion of liquid is 2 times more than the pasta. I mentioned it as a liquid portion, which is inclusive of sauce and water.
For example in this recipe, we have made with 1 cup of pasta, 1 cup of marinara sauce and 1 cup of water. Increase or decrease the water according to your liking.
Side dishes for spicy penne pasta
- Lime Chicken
- Pan fried garlic chicken
- Grilled Lemon chicken
- Cedar plank grilled salmon
- Tofu steak recipe
Know about the key ingredients
Penne pasta. You are much blessed if you can find fresh penne pasta in the store’s to make Instant pot penne pasta. But I’m unfortunate enough to get them all the time in my area. However, I’m happy with readymade penne pasta available in the nearby stores. I personally enjoy these while cooking and dining.
Marinara sauce. We use homemade marinara sauce, that I always have in my refrigerator. And it gets finished up very quickly than I estimate. As veg penne pasta comes handy for most of the busy night dinners.
I also want to mention that at times I use the store-bought marinara sauce as well depending on the availability. There are many brands and flavors available in the market, with garlic, pepper, olive oil.
Choose your favorite, I love the sauce with garlic and olive oil. I feel that this combo is the winning as it already packed with the rich bundle of flavors, which efficiently fulfills the half of cooking of this vegan penne recipe.
Garlic. For me, no Italian cooking is complete without the garlic. One of our readers asked where she can use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. Garlic powder or garlic flakes are not an absolute substitute for fresh garlic in the Instant pot penne pasta recipe.
Fresh garlic is flavorful and brings out the dish very deletable. Minced garlic, helps the sauce to maintain the smooth texture. As it gets disappeared in the sauce once cooked.
Oregano and Basil. As I have mentioned already, these two herbs are my all-time option when making any Italian recipes. You may substitute with readymade mixed Italian herbs too. You may swap with other herbs like sage or rosemary.
Red chili flakes. I have added 1/2 tsp of red chili flakes, this adds a nice flavor and heat to the pasta. If you like to truly spicy, increase the quantity. And minimize when you prefer nonspicy rich penne pasta.
How to cook Instant Pot penne pasta
You will be surprised to know how easy is to make Instant pot penne pasta
Start by setting the Instant pot to ‘Saute’ mode.
Add olive oil and minced garlic. Let the garlic sizzle in the oil for a few seconds, this releases the garlic’s fragrant, furthermore makes the pasta tastes rich and succulent.
In the same pan, Combine penne pasta, marinara sauce, water, dried basil, oregano, and red chili flakes. Test the taste and add salt if needed.
Close the Instant pot with the lid, and set the cooking timer for 4 minutes.
Next, do the intermittent release. This is nothing but, to release the pressure manually until large water droplets are seen. Then return the vent to sealing position. Wait for 30 seconds and repeat the process by releasing the pressure again until the pressure released completely.
Open the lid and serve hot.
Spicy penne pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 cup penne pasta
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp salt or as required
- Set the Instant pot to saute mode.
- Combine olive oil and minced garlic.
- Saute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Stir in pasta, marinara sauce, water, basil, oregano, red chili flakes, and salt.
- Close the lid.
- Set the cooking timer for 4 minutes.
- And release the pressure by intermittent method.
- Serve hot.