What the heck is Johnny Marzetti? Well, in Ohio it’s a cafeteria staple (back in the days when we had real lunch ladies and not vending machines, anyway). My family had never had it so I made it for them, and they really like it (in spite of not liking tomatoes? Who knows how children’s minds work).
This night was particularly hectic. So I made an attempt to see how badly I could half-ass dinner, and still come up with something edible that the family would enjoy. I cooked it all in the Instant Pot. And I didn’t brown and drain the beef (that would have been too full-assed). See what happened…
Many of these ingredients came delivered to the door by Amazon (making it possibly quarter-assed). Colavita crushed tomatoes, Giorgio Mushrooms (it says pieces and stems but it’s mostly sliced whole. Nice quality on these), dried bell peppers.
Italian seasoning, ground fennel (I add this to Italian style dishes when I’m using ground beef to give it an Italian sausage flavor), onion powder, garlic powder, crushed garlic, and dried pepper flakes.
Four cups of liquid: here, it’s 3 bone broth cubes, the liquid from the canned mushrooms and diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon beef base, and water to bring to 4 cups. You could use beef broth but watch the sodium content.
Add 2 cups of liquid, beef, spices, and dried bell peppers to the Instant Pot. You’re going to cook on max pressure for 6 minutes or high pressure for 7 to 8 minutes.
I am currently using the Instant Pot Max. I love having the higher temperature, being able to set the exact temperature (sous vide function) and the automatic venting options.
After cooking and quick release, this is what your meat will look like. It does still look a little pink on the inside, but it’s going to be cooked further (and the pressure assists with killing any bacteria).
Crumble the ground beef. My favorite tool for this is the Pampered Chef Mix and Chop.
Nothing else works this well, it’s a beast.
Add the remainder of the liquid, noodles, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and onions. Basically everything but the cheese at this point.
And cook on max pressure for 3 minutes, high pressure for 4. Quick release
Add shredded cheese.
And cook over high slow cook until cheese is melted (or you are ready for dinner).
And dinner is done. How did it turn out? Well the family thought it was delicious. The one thing I would have changed about it (because I did not brown and drain the ground beef) would be to use lower-fat ground beef. I normally do but we’re having a run on beef right now with all of the quarantines for Corona Virus going on here.
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Instant Pot Johnny Marzetti
- Instant Pot
- 16 ounces pasta
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fennel
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons minced dried bell pepper
- 1 14.4 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 12 ounce packaged crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese blend
- 2 12 ounce cans mushrooms
- 3 bone broth cubes
- Combine liquid from the mushrooms and diced tomatoes with 3 bone broth cubes, 1 tablespoon beef base, and bring up to 4 cups total liquid with water.
- Add ground beef and dried spices to Instant Pot and add about half the water.
- Cook on max pressure for 6 minutes or high pressure for 7 to 8 minutes and quick release.
- Crumble up ground beef and add remainder of ingredients and liquid (with the exception of cheese) and cook on max pressure for 3 minutes, or high pressure for 4. Quick release.
- Add cheese and cook on high slow-cook until cheese is ready or you are ready to eat.