It might not feel exactly like Spring, but this easy, one-pot pasta from my latest cookbook Instant Pot Italian is light, herby and just the ticket for busy weeknights when you need a meal on the table fast. Dried penne, cherry tomatoes, and fresh tuna steaks all cook at the same time under low pressure in the Instant Pot, so dinner is done with minimal mess and very little time. When you unlock the lid, the mixture will look slightly soupy, but by the time you slice the basil and zest the lemon, it will thicken up and be perfect by the time you sit down to eat. Be sure to buy fresh tuna steaks that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick so the fish won’t be overcooked when you break it up into the pasta.
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Instant Pot Penne with Fresh Tuna and Cherry Tomatoes
12 ounces penne pasta dry and uncooked
2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
1 small sweet onion halved lengthwise and thinly sliced through the root end (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup oil-cured olives pitted and halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
Salt and pepper
1 (8-ounce) tuna steak about 1½thick
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest finely grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Combine the pasta, cherry tomatoes, onion, olives, oil, garlic, red chile flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper in the pot. Add 2 3/4 cups water and stir to combine. Place the tuna on top of the pasta mixture but do not submerge it.
Lock on the lid, select the Pressure Cook function, and adjust to Low pressure for 6 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is in the “Sealing” position and that the “Keep Warm” button is off.
While the pasta is cooking, stack the basil leaves, roll them up tightly as you would a sleeping bag, and slice crosswise into thin ribbons.When the cooking time is up, quick-release the pressure. Remove the lid.
Add the basil, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the pot and stir, breaking up the fish into bite-size chunks. Season with salt and black pepper. Let the pasta stand in the pot set in the appliance, uncovered, for 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken before serving.
—-The following recipe is excerpted from INSTANT POT® ITALIAN © 2018 by Ivy Manning. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.