Saturday, February 15, 2020

Instant Pot Italian Sausage Tortellini

Super easy Instant Pot Italian Sausage Tortellini recipe, it’s what’s for dinner at my house tonight. Just add your favorite side dish and some Italian bread to mop up the tasty creamy tomato sauce. Serves 6


1 pound ground Italian sausage (I used mild)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup beef broth or water
1 (19 oz) package frozen cheese tortellini (*see below if you used dried tortellini)
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Dash of dried basil to garnish 


Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. When the display says HOT add in the sausage. Break it up with a wooden spoon . Add in the diced onion. Once the sausage is browned and the onion is soft add in the beef broth (or water) and deglaze the pot. Pour the frozen tortellini evenly over the top. Dump the tomatoes evenly over the top of the tortellini. Don’t stir.

Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to zero minutes (just push the minus (-) button until it gets to zero). When the time is up let the pot sit for 5 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid carefully. Stir in the half and half. Scoop onto plates or bowls and sprinkle each individual serving with some shredded mozzarella cheese and a dash of dried basil. 
 *If you did use dried tortellini, you would need to increase the liquid amount. For every 8 ounces of pasta you’ll need 1 3/4 cups of water/broth. You’ll need to increase the pressure cook time also. I would think about 5 minutes will do. Or you can cook your pasta separately according to package instructions and mix it in at the end with the half & half. 


I used dry tortellini added 2 cups of water instead of just one and I cooked it 5 minutes.


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Pesto Pasta Green Beans and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Want to have a light meatless meal? You could also serve this as a side dish. This Pesto Pasta with Green Beans and Sun-dried Tomatoes is sure to be a hit with your family! Serves 4 TOTAL TIME 25 minutes


8 ounces medium shell pasta
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup basil pesto {more or less to taste}
1/3 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped basil for garnish


In a large pot boil water for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package. Set aside. Bring another large pot of water to a boil with a steamer insert. Once the water boils steam the green beans until they are almost tender and a bright green color.

Heat a dry large skillet over medium-low heat and toast almonds, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the pasta, green beans, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the pasta and serve warm. Garnish with freshly chopped basil.

NOTES: Any small or medium pasta works great. Try elbow or orchiette! For extra protein try adding white beans or chickpeas. Or add bacon crumbles. I have used different cheese in this including mozzarella and a blend of freshly grated Italian cheeses. You can use different vegetables instead of green beans, try asparagus or zucchini. You can easily leave the almonds off of this dish or try pine nuts and walnuts instead.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Italian-Style Veal Chops

This recipe is a traditional Italian-style Veal Chop dish that can be made in your Instant Pot or stovetop. Serve these tender chops over a bed of butter noodles (pictured), along with a side salad. Serves 4 Total Time: under 1 hour.

The main ‘trick’ to this otherwise easy dish is to ensure tenderness. Veal chops are typically cut from the top round. You can find them pre-sliced in the better supermarkets or butchers, but they are rarely made correctly here in the US. They should be cut across the grain but are almost always cut with the grain, which means the muscle fibers remain intact and the meat tends to curl and toughen as it cooks.

What to do? Well, if you are on good terms with your butcher (assuming that you have a butcher, a professional that is sadly quickly disappearing) you can ask him to give you properly made veal chops. Otherwise, it becomes essential to pound the meat very well. The pounding will partially break up the fibers and tenderize the meat. And make sure that you trim off any silverskin or other connective tissue attached to the meat.


4 veal chops (1.5 lbs)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 of a 10 oz can tomato purée
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves and sliced lemon wedges, to garnish


Rinse and pat dry chops then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Melt butter in a medium skillet and brown chops on both sides until lightly browned. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients, except the garnish and pour over chops. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium, let simmer until chops are tender and sauce has reduced and thickened, about 35 minutes. Test for doneness*, do not overcook meat. Taste rest to see if additional seasoning is necessary. Place chops over a bed of butter noodles and garnish with basil leaves and lemon wedges.

Instant Pot:

Rinse and pat dry chops, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Melt butter in Instant Pot on sauté setting. Brown chops on both sides. In a small bowl combine all remaining ingredients except garnish, then pour over chops. Close lid and make sure steam vent is closed. Switch from sauté to high pressure and set for 15 minutes. Use a 10 minute natural release method, then open vent to release any steam left. Carefully open lid. Check for doneness*. Taste to adjust seasonings. Place chops over a bed of butter noodles and garnish with basil leaves and lemon wedges.

* The USDA recommends cooking whole muscle veal cuts like veal steaks, roasts and chops to 145 degrees F (medium rare), 160 degrees F (medium), or 170 degrees F (well done). We always prefer meat on the rare side, so 145 degrees F is what we aim for when cooking veal.