Tasty Penne with Sausage in Tomato Cream Sauce is quick and easy. The pasta and sauce are cooked together from scratch, which saves time. On a really busy day, you can make a home-made Instant Pot pasta dish within 30 minutes, with just 10 minutes hands-on time.
** New Readers: Please read an important message about this recipe right before the recipe card! **
Can you cook pasta in an Instant Pot? The answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ This penne with sausage in tomato cream sauce is a recipe I’ve been making for many years, but I’d never tried it in the Instant Pot before.
Instant Pot pasta can be touch-and-go if you’re adapting your own recipe for the first time. The hardest thing to know is how long to cook pasta in an Instant Pot.
Thankfully pressure cooker bloggers like Barbara from Pressure Cooking Today and Laura from Hip Pressure Cooking have paved the path for us to learn from them and use their techniques to create our own Instant Pot pasta recipes. In this case I used Barbara’s Bow-tie Pasta recipe as a guide to convert my own penne with sausage recipe into an Instant Pot pasta recipe.
I basically combined my homemade pasta sauce recipe with my Penne with Sausage recipe (which I’ve not posted on the blog) and it turned out great.
I keep reading about how we Instant Pot users have become sort of cult-like, enthusiastically promoting the Instant Pot to anyone who’ll listen. Well, this recipe is an example of why we evangelize!
On a really busy day, I was able to create from scratch (well, umm, except for the pasta part), a home-made Instant Pot pasta dish within 30 minutes, that fed my entire family. And the hands-on time was less than about 10 minutes.
And I didn’t need to watch the dish. Just left it and went about my business; came back when the timer went off. A salad and some fresh bread and voila! A meal that everyone loved. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to make this Instant Pot pasta recipe.
Tips and Substitutions
I think that any substantial pasta like penne, farfalle or ziti works best for this Instant Pot pasta recipe. Keep in mind that I cooked this with penne pasta and the timing worked perfectly for it. Gluten-free or thin pastas will not work with these timings; you’ll have to experiment with the timings.
You can substitute broth for the white wine.
If your Instant Pot is prone to getting the ‘burn’ error message, make the following adjustments to the Instant Pot pasta recipe:
- Be sure to deglaze really well after sauteing onions and garlic.
- Turn off the Instant Pot and let it cool down for a minute or two after deglazing.
- When adding ingredients before pressure cooking, add water first, then remaining ingredients except for tomatoes and pasta.
- Then add tomatoes and pasta and don’t stir; just push the pasta down with a spatula, and let it submerge in the water.
- Depending on your Instant Pot, you may need to add an extra 1/2 to 1 cup of water
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, please read the Instant Pot DUO Beginner’s Quick Start Guide or the Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Quick Start Guide first and then come back here to learn how to make Instant Pot Pasta.
Instant Pot Pasta | Penne with Sausage Ingredients
Instant Pot Pasta | Penne with Sausage Step-by-Step Instructions
- Press ‘Saute’
- Add oil to inner pot of Instant Pot
- Add sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. (If the sausage browns too quickly, press ‘Cancel’ until the Instant Pot cools down a bit and press the ‘Saute’ button again.)
- Add onions and garlic. Stir until onion is translucent.
- Deglaze pot with white wine, stirring until liquid has nearly evaporated.
- Press ‘Cancel’ to turn Instant Pot off.
- Add in bell peppers, sugar, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, tomatoes, water, and pasta. Stir to combine.
- Close Instant Pot lid, and make sure steam release handle is in the ‘Sealing’ position.
- Press ‘Manual’ (or ‘Pressure Cook’) and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ until display reads ‘5’ (5 minutes).
- Instant Pot display will change to ‘On’.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down from 5 to 0; it will switch to ‘Keep Warm’ mode and display ‘L0;00’.
- Do a Quick Release: move the steam release handle to ‘Venting’. I like to place a folded towel over the steam release handle and move it to the venting position. Remove the towel after turning the knob.
- When your Instant Pot is depressurized, the float valve will be in the down position.
- Press ‘Cancel’ and open the Instant Pot.
- There might seem to be more liquid than you’d like, but don’t worry, the liquid will get absorbed by the pasta.
- Stir in cream.
- Press ‘Saute’ and simmer the pasta and sauce for a couple of minutes until heated through.
- Let the pasta rest for a few minutes and it will thicken up.
- Sprinkle each serving with grated parmesan, parsley and crushed red pepper, if using.
January 2018: If you’ve made this recipe before, carry on! If you’re new to this recipe, please note that some new Instant Pot owners are getting the dreaded ‘burn’ message. Here are some things you can do to try and avoid a burn notice:
After sauteing onions and garlic, deglaze really well
Turn off the Instant Pot and let it cool down for a minute or two
Add water first, then remaining ingredients
Depending on your Instant Pot, you may need to add an extra 1/2 to 1 cup of water
Add tomatoes and pasta last and don’t stir, just submerge in the liquid
Instant Pot Pasta | Penne with Sausage in Tomato Cream Sauce
Tasty Penne with Sausage in Tomato Cream Sauce is quick and easy. This Instant Pot Pasta can be ready in 30 minutes with just 10 minutes hands-on time.
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 lb Italian sausage casing removed, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 Tbsp garlic minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup bell peppers 1 inch cubes
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 28 oz. (1 can) crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 lb dry penne pasta
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Shredded parmesan cheese
- Chopped parsley to garnish
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper or to taste, optional
Add sausage, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Break up the sausage if the pieces are too large. (If the sausage browns too quickly, press 'Cancel' until the Instant Pot cools down a bit and press the 'Saute' button again.)
Add onions and garlic. Stir until onion is translucent.
Deglaze pot with white wine, stirring until liquid has nearly evaporated.
Turn off Instant Pot.
Add in bell peppers, sugar, dried basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, tomatoes, water and pasta. Stir to combine.
Close Instant Pot Lid, and make sure steam release handle is in the 'Sealing' position.
Cook on 'Manual' (or 'Pressure Cook') mode for 5 minutes.
Do a Quick Release of steam, and open the Instant Pot.
Stir in cream and simmer the pasta for a couple of minutes until heated through.
Turn off Instant Pot and if desired, let the pasta rest for a few minutes to absorb any remaining liquid.
Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan and parsley, and red pepper flakes, if using.
- To lighten the dish, you could substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream.
- The sugar adds a nice balance to the flavor of the tomatoes, but feel free to leave it out.
- Prep time does not include steps that are already accounted for in the ingredient list, e.g. chopped onions, minced garlic, diced chicken, etc.
I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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