In English, pronto means immediately, or right away. In Italian, it means ready. With a microwave pressure cooker, you can make meat sauce for spaghetti that is ready right away! On a day when the thermometer dips down, this pronto spaghetti sauce will take the chill off!
I used to use a different brand of pressure cooker, but I have recently discovered the microwave pressure cooker made by Kuhn Rikon. It is fantastic — and I am pleased to report that we sell them at Capers Emporium. If you are using a different brand with a different capacity, vary the instructions accordingly.
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 lb. hamburger
- 1 large can diced tomatoes (with the juice)
- 1/2 c. diced onion
- 1 tsp. minced garlic (approximately two cloves)
- 1/4 c. diced bell pepper (this is optional — I know some of you prefer to pretend bell peppers don’t exist)
- 1/2 c. beef stock
- 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
- 1 or 2 tsp. Splenda or sugar, if you like your sauce a little sweet
- 1 small can tomato paste (half used during cooking, half used immediately after you remove the lid to the pressure cooker)
- And, if you want to take a walk on the spicy side, add anywhere from 1 to 3 tsp. chili garlic paste (admittedly not an Italian flavor, but lovely, nonetheless)
Put the olive oil in the bottom of the microwave pressure cooker. Plop the ground beef on top. Break it up a little. Mix together the remaining ingredients (but only half the small can of tomato paste) and pour on top. Lock the lid and place in the microwave for 25 minutes. Let it sit for five for minutes after that, to allow the pressure to go down. When you have confirmed the pressure has been released, remove the lid, stir in the remaining tomato paste, and take a tiny taste to determine whether you want to tweak the seasoning a bit more.
Your spaghetti sauce is pronto (ready)! Here’s how it looks when you remove the lid. Use a meat masher or sturdy spatula to break up the hamburger.
Here’s a hint: what is leftover is even better the next day as the flavors meld further.