Vegan Instan Pot: Speedy Penne Arrabbiata with Meatballs Recipe

Vegan Instan Pot: Speedy Penne Arrabbiata with Meatballs Recipe - Vegetarian meatball recipes often involve separate cooking steps for the grains, beans, and vegetables, but I’ve combined all three in the Instant Pot to make these the easiest meatballs ever. Once the meatballs are in the oven, it’s time to make your arrabbiata sauce and pasta all in the Instant Pot, too. Or skip the meatballs and just make the sauce for a simple pasta meal.

Serves 4 to 6
Vegan Instan Pot: Speedy Penne Arrabbiata with Meatballs Recipe

Ingtedients for Vegan Instan Pot: Speedy Penne Arrabbiata with Meatballs Recipe:

Meatballs
  • ¾ cup (4½ ounces) dried small red beans
  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces (about 6 medium) cremini or button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup medium- or long-grain brown rice
  • 1 large carrot, finely shredded (use a coarse Microplane)
  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup walnut halves and pieces, toasted and chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Arrabbiata Sauce
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 4 pickled hot chile peppers or pepperoncini, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 3½ cups water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions for Vegan Instan Pot: Speedy Penne Arrabbiata with Meatballs Recipe:

  1. To make the meatballs: In a bowl, combine the red beans with 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Soak for 10 to 12 hours, then drain in a colander.
  2. Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot, add the oil and garlic, and heat for 2 minutes, until the garlic is bubbling but not yet browned. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onion softens and the garlic turns golden brown. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes more, until they are wilted and giving up their liquid. Add the tomato paste, soy sauce, and Italian seasoning, and sauté for 1 minute more.
  3. Stir in the broth, beans, and rice, using a wooden spoon to nudge loose any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Scrape down any grains of rice stuck to the sides of the pot, making sure the rice and beans are fully submerged in the broth.
  4. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program. Then select the Manual, Pressure Cook, or Bean/Chili setting and set the cooking time for 25 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 5 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  5. When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot and, wearing heat-resistant mitts, lift out the inner pot. Add the carrot, bread crumbs, walnuts, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to firm up and cool down a bit.
  6. While the meatball mixture is cooling, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and grease it lightly with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Use a small (1½-tablespoon) cookie scoop to portion the meatball mixture out onto the baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes, until they are lightly browned and crispy on the outside.
  8. To make the sauce: While the meatballs are baking, press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program. Then select the Sauté setting, add the oil and garlic, and heat for about 3 minutes, until the garlic turns golden but is not browned. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, crushing the tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the pot. Stir in the chile peppers, Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes. Let the sauce cook for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. At this point, you can use the sauce as is, store it in the fridge for up to 1 week, freeze for up to 6 months, or add pasta and water for a one-pot dish.
  9. To make a one-pot dish: Add the pasta and water to the sauce and stir well. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program. Then select the Manual or Pressure Cook setting and set the cooking time for 5 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  10. When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot and give the pasta and sauce a good stir. Spoon the pasta into bowls, top with the meatballs, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

You can make the meatballs ahead of time, if you like. Let them cool to room temperature after baking, then store in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to serve, microwave them a few at a time on a plate in a single layer for 2 to 3 minutes.
The meatball recipe also works great for veggie burgers. Just use a ½-cup measure to scoop eight portions onto the baking sheet, then flatten and bake for 20 minutes.

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