Tag Archives: pasta

Instant love

Yes it was instant. I fell in love with my Instant Pot ever since we met. We have made a lot of wonderful meal together. So tasty and fast that we have so much time to get to know each other better, every second we spend together.

One of our favorite thing to make, besides millions on them, is spaghetti. The fact that it only takes 8 minutes cooking under pressure and for this wonderful plate of spaghetti, what can I say…just wonderful.

Some people complain that it was actually cook longer than 8 minutes. True! 8 minutes when it start cooking. Does not include the time doing the mis an place a.k.a. prepping the ingredients ready for cooking.

What do we need?

2 lbs ground beef that we open the package and dump in the pot.

Then chopped 1 small yellow onion and 5 cloves garlic and dump these 2 in the pot along with the beef.

Then peeled and diced 5 carrots, mine was skinny so I used 5. You can do 2 big ones.

Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot.

Other thing we need are, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 big can of tomato puree, 1 cup red wine, I am using merlot. 1 cup of water to 2 cups if you want more sauce.  

And of course the spaghetti, 1 box. Not gonna be spaghetti without it. We will be just making bolognese won’t we.

The seasoning are 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon white sugar.

See all in the pot, meat, onion, garlic and olive oil. Press sautee and cook until beef are cooked and the onion softened. Then add the diced carrots.

Stir the pot. Wow that does not sound nice lol. Add the tomato paste, seasoning and give it a stir to combine the whole thing.

See they are mingled at the party in the pot. Now it is safe to have the tomato puree entering the party.

Once the tomato puree and water dropped into the pot, turn the Instant pot off, add the spaghetti in and kind of push them down so they are covered with the sauce. 

Closed the lid, sealed the vent, press manual and adjust the time to 8 minutes. When it beeped, your food is done. QR, release the pressure by opening the vent. Give them a stir again and serve.

One pot got dirty, one chopping board, the house stays cool, I have time to catch up with tv series while spaghetti and the sauce cooking at the same time, my boys happy… why not making spaghetti in the Instant Pot??? why? why not?

8 minutes Spaghetti

Ever Since I tried to cook spaghetti in Instant Pot, I never go back to the stove method anymore. I mean why using 2 pots when you can use just 1 pot? There was time I was thrilled to be able to cook my spaghetti in the microwave using my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, until I the microwave gave up on me. I guess I use them too much. Well no more 2 pots needed when making my spaghetti. Whether you are using the jar sauce or your homemade sauce, the way to do it is the same. All you need is a jar of pasta sauce like 32 oz, a jar of water 32 oz (after you dumped the sauce, fill the jar with water or broth), 1 cup of red wine (optional), 2 lbs ground beef, chopped onion like 1/2 small onion and 5 glove garlic finely chopped, 1 lbs spaghetti (1 box). You can add mushroom if you like. Or if you don’t want to do ground beef, you can use homemade or frozen meatballs.


So first, browned the ground beef in the pot using saute function, and add the onion and garlic, stir or mix until beef is browned and onion translucent.


Then add seasoning if you like (salt, pepper, oregano, nutmeg, I always add nutmeg to mine, i just love the flavor with nutmeg). Then pour in the 1 cup red wine if you are using to deglazed the bottom. Pour the sauce, the water or broth, stir and then dump the spaghetti.

I found the one they call it pot size spaghetti, so we don’t have to break it in half. Kinda pat it down and then closed the lid and vent.


Press manual 8 minutes and just wait for it. While typing on your blog and watch the Golden Girls. I named my Instant Pot : Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia :)). Dorothy is doing the spaghetti. I am using Rose for dessert and yogurt only.

Yes I have 4 Instant Pots. And it just beeped on me. Spaghetti is done. I am leaving it NPR.

See how easy it is? 1 pot 8 minutes and my son loves the spaghetti ini Instant Pot. I agree with him it’s more flavorful.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Pressure cooking

7360_10208714589011445_5310606611284334554_nMost of the time, dinner is under pressure. Under pressure to get things done right when we got home around 6 pm and get everything ready on the table within 1 hour or less. I am trying my best everyday to have a home cooked meal fast and not fast food meal for our dinner. If we can have leftover, that’d be even better ;).

Then comes the budget, I’d love to be able to serve dinner for 3 of us for less than $10 each time.

With all the limitation on type of food my husband can eat, and not spicy stuffs for my husband and son, it’s quite challenging. I personally like everything hot and spicy. My son loves his veggies cooked. My husband can’t have too much beans and gassy vegetable, which usually most of them are the one available in the frozen section for convenience.

Shopping fresh produce everyday is out of the picture. Every 3 days I have to hit my favorite grocery store to get the produce part. Fruit and vegetable for juicing also. Meat, I usually grab some when it’s on sale and freeze them.

Last year, my friends were talking about this product called Instant Pot. It’s basically an electric pressure cooker. I had an electric before and one of the part, I think the valve was missing. I tried to call support and get a replacement. Tried 2 times and each time they sent the wrong part. So I gave up and that pressure cooker been sitting in my garage, I think ended up at goodwill. Then 2 years ago my husband got me manual pressure cooker. Yes the kind that scared me to death. I managed to tackle that scary thing. Been using that with no problem until people start talking to me about this Instant Pot. I am glad Santa read my letter and sent me one this Christmas.

Took me couple days before I manage to take the brave pill and start using the pot. First with the water test as recommended. The next day after the water test then I can’t let that thing rest. I love to cook, but now I am really looking forward to actually stay home after work on our Friday dine out day.

I have made pork chop with apple sauce and steamed broccoli as our first dinner with the instant pot.Dinner in 20 minutes. All in pressure cooker.

Seasoned, floured the chops with salt, pepper and paprika then browned in the pot.
Core, peeled, cut up 3 granny smith apple. Sprinkle with lemon juice from 1 lemon. A handful brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Quartered baby red potatoes, toss with olive oil, salt pepper.
Saute 1/4 onion, sliced thinly, in the pot with a little olive oil.
Pour the apple mixture into the pot, topped with the pork chops, layered, then add the potatoes. Closed. Cook in 20 minutes in the pressure cooker.

I steamed the broccoli in the microwave then seasoned with salt and pepper.

Served by putting the broccoli, then scoop the potatoes from the pot, pork chops..then scoop some of the sauce from the bottom part of the pots.

Done 1 pot meal.


Then the next meal done in Instant pot was the ham and black eyed pea soup. Dump every ingredients in the pot with enough broth / water then cook for 10 minutes. All done, soft and tender. we served this with steamed rice. I am still cooking my rice in my rice cooker. Not sure when I will actually will try to cook my rice in the instant pot.


Braised country style pork ribs was in the menu for our quick dinner. 30 minutes..yes 30 minutes it was fall off the bone.

Braised country style pork ribs 30 minutes..
Served with steamed rice.
Dinner in less than an hour from prep to serve..and best of all..less than $10.
Got the country style pork ribs on sale for $2.50 per pack of 3-4 pieces…then cut it in half.

No leftover.

Saute the garlic, ginger, scallion. then add the seasoned and browned ribs. Pour in the sauce (1/4 cup red wine – i used Merlot, 1/4 cup apple juice – i used the apple sauce leftover sauce from the pork chop the other night, 1/4 cup water or chicken broth, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, pepper). closed the lid, cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.


People on the Instant Pot Facebook Community were talking about cooking spaghetti in it for 8 minutes. Some said well..it takes 8 minutes on the stove also. I can also say well..I can cook my pasta in the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker in microwave for 8 minutes. But I didn’t say it. The thought about having the whole spaghetti with the sauce in 8 minutes was quite intriguing.. I usually have my homemade pasta sauce. But  I ran out and really want to try how to make the spaghetti in Instant Pot. Quick run to the store to get a jar of pasta sauce and ground beef, gave us less than $10 meal in 8 minutes. Woohoo….I could jump up and down to celebrate.  This thing works..it’s awesome.

Spaghetti 8 minutes manual pressure then qr.

I sauté some chopped onion and garlic with a little olive oil. Add 1 lbs ground beef, cook until changed color. Add my seasoning, salt pepper oregano and a little sugar. Mix well. Then to that I add 1/4 cup merlot..then add 24 oz spaghetti sauce l. Add water to jar shake well…then pour in the pot. Add 1 of 16 oz spaghetti, break in half to fit. Mix a little. Turn sautee function off. Close the lid, close the vent. Cook for 8 minutes, qr. Turned out perfect, al dente, not soupy. No scorching the bottom pan either..i took a pic with the bottom showing…♡♡♡♡♡

1 pot meal literally. .. not 2 pots…and 8 minutes to cook them all in pressure cooker. Prep to table probably 15 minutes..and another $10 meal.

1917219_10208737066133359_1137576621569991725_nCan’t beat that fast food! My son gobbled them up so fast. We did have leftover enough for 1 which he, again had them for dinner the next day. That’s a huge portion for a 9 years old. But oh my did he inhale that thing!.

Our next meal in a crunch was vegetable curry. I have butternut squash I bought to make soup and been sitting in my basket. So there..I had to use them. Dump all veggies I have…butternut squash, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, tempeh. The spices: shallot, garlic, candle-nut, corriander, salt, pepper, sugar, lemongrass, galangal. All in with the coconut milk. set for 10 minutes..I thought .. ok we’ll see if it’s done or if I have to add more time. I actually think 7 or 8 minutes was enough time. The butternut squash was tenderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr soft. I gave 2 bowls to my co workers and they loved it.

Last week I grabbed pork tenderloin on sale for $4 a pack. And turned that into this dinner, Blackberry hoisin garlic sauce pork tenderloin.
Seasoned the pork with salt pepper garlic powder. Browned and set aside.
Then pour 2 cups broth. Put all potatoes in the bottom, put the trivet on top then the browned pork pieces. Covered manual 18 minutes then qr with potatoes underneath the pork. So all done at the same time.
Set the pork aside. Scoop the potato, mashed them, while add the kale to the broth let it cook for couple minutes. Then mix the the kale with the mashed potato with butter, milk, salt pepper.
Reduce the sauce with the sautee function and add the pork in to glaze them. Slice and serve. The sauce was 1/2 cup blackberry jam, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons melted butter.


Chicken thigh and drumstick another inexpensive protein which was also on sale, turned it into my mock butter fried chicken. Ayam goreng mentega.. not sure why they call it butter sauce fried chicken, the dominant part of the sauce is worchesthire sauce… oh well.

This one is mock ayam goreng mentega. Since I am making this in the pressure cooker. I modified the way I cook this. Instead of frying the chicken, I browned the chicken in the instant pot with a little olive oil. Once it’s browned I set aside, pour 2 cups water into the pot / liner and deglaze pot with the water. then put the trivet in the pot, arrange the browned chicken on top of the trivet.
Set on poultry function (15 minutes).

Meanwhile, wash and quartered the baby bella mushroom. Thinly slice 1 shallots, you can use chopped onion.

Mix the sauce in the cup. 1/2 cup worchesthire sauce, 1/4 cup ketchup, 4-5 tablespoon of sugar.

Once the chicken is done, clean the pot or just discard the broth, dry the pot then put it back on the IPot and turn on saute, add 4 tablespoon of butter. Saute the shallot / onion and mushroom until translucent, add 1/2 cup water followed by the sauce mixture. Cook until sauce reduced by around half depending on how you like the sauce .. thin or thick..I kinda like it in between… then put the chicken back in. toss with the sauce.

Served with steamed rice.


And just tonight after reading and researching online, I finally decided to try making the macaroni and cheese in the instant pot. My son had been asking for this. Not to be picky or anything but he has always have macaroni and cheese I made from scratch, on the stove, vitamix etc. He never like the one comes in the box. He actually learned how to make it from scratch with my supervision of course.

Making macaroni and cheese from scratch is not hard. Not more than using the box. So why not making it from scratch. It taste much better too. And he loves the bread crumb topping for his mac and cheese.

Mac and Cheese..cook 1 lbs macaroni with 4 cups water, salt, pepper, mustard, nutmeg in instant pot for 4 minutes. Then add 1 1/2 cups of whole milk and 16 oz sharp shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup parmesan cheese. Mix well until cheese melted. Pout in a pan 9×13, topped with bread crumb, shredded parmesan cheese and dotted with butter. Baked in preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes until it’s golden yellow and bubbly.

This below picture is the mac and cheese he made from scratch..yummy!

Imagine adding lobster on the top…oh my..


So there..all the stuffs we made for our dinner in Instant pot. Not only inexpensive, it’s fast! Fast food on a budget without sacrificing the taste!.

I don’t work for Instant Pot but I have converted so many to get them. And they are loving it. I will write more to share the recipe and ideas for the pressure cooking meal. Hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy Sunday! Hope you all have a good Monday!



Noodle / pasta / mie / bakmi etc etc

Noodle. Who does not like it? It comes in so many different forms and names. It’s that looooooooooooong stringy yummy thing. Spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, lo mein, chow mein, rice noodle, pho, glass noodle, udon, soba, buckwheat, mie, bakmi, bihun and on and on and on.

I never thought about making my own fresh noodle until recently. I was craving for one of the kind of noodle from home, mie karet (chewy / rubbery noodle). Not really rubbery or hard but it’s more chewy than most noodle..kinda like udon but not as thick and not sticky. They serves it with sliced cooked chicken, green onion, cilantro and mustard greens and a side of chicken broth. The noodle itself cooked same way as you cook your pasta. Then seasoned with a mixture of vegetable oil, sesame oil, white pepper,  soy sauce / fish sauce, and a tiny bit of sugar.

The image of mie karet abadi from http://www.id.openrice.com
My version, homemade mie karet / chewy noodle

I remember looking forward to every weekend when my dad would take us all to these noodle restaurant. It’s a small place nothing fancy. They serve these noodles with won ton, meatball, fish ball and then it grows to other dishes like nasi campur (steamed rice with bbq pork, charsiu, chicken, hard boiled eggs cooked in soy sauce, ngohiang) to other Chinese dishes. But my fave and others fave I reckon is the yummy noodle..simple yet so delicious noodle.

There are so many different kind of “chicken noodle aka mie ayam” in Indonesia where I came from. And every one of them are delicious in their own way. Each noodle place has their own characteristic that make them stand out from the other.
I used to live in the Chinatown where I was surrounded of these many version or noodle and other traditional delicacies. My co worker usually order lunch or breakfast for me to brought to work for them. Stuffs that you can get in other part of Jakarta, however the one by my house are the best. Food and food from the minute you open your eyes until even 3 am you can still find food stalls around. Noodles from you wake up until you wake up again :). Never stop!.
Frankly that is one of the thing I missed from home. And my family and friends of course. Do not miss the traffic that is for sure.
Anyway, today I decided to make my own noodle again. Only this time I am using my bread maker to do the work making the dough. And the pasta machine do the rest. Gotta love kitchen gadget these days.
I am using 75 ml water mixed with 45 ml vegetable oil and 2 xlarge eggs, put them in my bread maker, then covered it with 4 3/.4 cups of bread flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Run the bread maker to the dough cycle scrapped as needed. I ended up adding more water as the dough seems to be on the dry side. Once it stopped I let it rest for like 10 minutes before taking it out and cut it in 4 and put them in the ziploc bag. Then rolled 1 piece, starting from the thicker setting, run it several time for each setting. Then run it through the noodle cutter part..sprinkle with flour and set aside. Do this for the rest of the dough.
My dough ready to be rolled.
Flattened the dough with your hand before start running it through the pasta machine.

The thin noodle sheets before cutting.
First batch. That 1 sheet on the above picture made this whole noodle.

The final result.

 I think it made 8 portions of the noodle. I will cook these noodle tomorrow afternoon after I make the  fixing for this. Planning to do ground pork cook with sweet soy sauce and garlic. And also the boiled chicken. If I have time I probably going to try to make my own won ton wrapper. We’ll see if it does not take me a long time to do my research,. For now my noodle is resting in a ziploc bag ready for their hot bath :).