I’m about to make you a pasta you can’t refuse.
To me, there is nothing like a big, piled high Italian hero (or sub/hoagie/grinder) LOADED with meat, cheese, peppers and a tangy Italian dressing sauce with a little mayo making an appearance. (I legit drooled just typing that out).
And you know me – always coming up with crazy ideas on how to marry dishes. So I decided to take the best and richest flavors of an Italian hero and transform it into the most decadent, creamy, tangy, cheesy and meaty pasta ever. Folks, this one’s called Godfather Pasta and its only fitting as this is a dish to make the Don himself proud.
Not only are the flavors abundant and magical in the way they combine, this is a SNAP and takes NO TIME AT ALL to make in your Instant Pot!
Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe):
Who doesn’t love some red onion on their Italian hero? Take one…
…and roughly dice it up.
It wouldn’t be an Italian hero with meat. So let’s meet the meats. Dice some thick prosciutto (or pancetta or bacon). You can usually find this already diced in the market in the meat section.
Then take some thin-sliced pepperoni and salami/soppressata…
…and stack them together and slice into quarters.
Now add some butter to the Instant Pot, give it heat…
…and watch it melt.
Time to add the onions…
…and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the prosciutto to the mix…
…and sauté for a few minutes longer.
Now, Italian dressing is classic on many Italian heroes and it going to be the base to our sauce.
So add it to the pot and then deglaze (scrape) the bottom for any browning that may have been caked on while sautéing the meat.
See that? We want the bottom nice and clear.
Now, add in some chicken or garlic broth…
…and some Italian seasoning.
Give everything a good stir.
Now let’s add in our pasta…
…and gently smooth it out so it’s lightly submerged in the broth (it’s totally fine that it peaks out above the broth). Just don’t stir it into the broth as that can cause issues with it coming to pressure properly.
No Italian hero is complete without some banana peppers (to me anyway, If you hate ’em, leave ’em out)!
Add them on top of the pasta and smooth out – again, NOT stirring. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
While the pasta’s cooking, take a jar of roasted red peppers…
…and slice them into bite-sized pieces.
You may know how much I love to cook with Boursin. Take a package…
…and cut into chunks (you can also use some cream cheese or any garlic herb cheese spread if you can’t find Boursin).
When the lid comes off, everything will have cooked perfectly!
Give everything a good stir…
…and then add in the pepperoni and salami/soppressata…
…along with the roasted red peppers.
Then, add in the dairy. We’re talking some cream…
…and the Boursin.
Stir until the dairy’s melded into the sauce.
Lastly, add in some shredded Asiago cheese…
…and stir until combined.
Place in serving bowls…
…and top with additional banana peppers if you wish (to me, one can never have too many banana peppers)!
Show off this loaded Italian hero turned pasta dish…
…admit entry to your mouth…
…and realize that you’re dining like a true Godfather (or Godmother). A pasta you can’t refuse.
Of course, this goes GREAT with some crust Italian bread. Mangia!
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) salted butter
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4-5 ounces ounces diced prosciutto, pancetta or thick-cut bacon
- 12 ounce jar banana peppers, drained (optional for spice) + more for topping
- 8 ounce bottle (1 cup) Italian Salad Dressing (use the kind that is clear like an oil)
- 3 cups garlic or chicken broth (I used 1 tbsp of Garlic Better Than Bouillon + 3 cups of water but you can just use 3 cups of chicken broth instead if you don’t have this and it will still be great)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 lb (1 box) Cellentani or Cavatappi (pig-tail shaped pasta)
- 4 ounces dry salami or soppressata, sliced thin and then into quarters (you can add more if you want it super meaty)
- 4 ounces pepperoni, sliced thin and then into quarters (you can add more if you want it super meaty)
- 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half
- 5.2 oz package of Boursin cheese, cut into small crumbles (NOTE: this is usually always found in the deli/cheese/cured meat section of any market and Costco sells it in packs of 3. If you cannot find it, 5 ounces from a brick of cream cheese will do)
- 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
- Add butter to the Instant Pot, hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Once the butter’s melted and sizzling, add in the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Then, add the diced prosciutto (or pancetta or bacon) and sauté for another 5 minutes until cooked.
- Next, add in the Italian dressing and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot until it’s cleared from any browning caked on from cooking the prosciutto. Then, add the broth, Italian seasoning and stir well.
- Lastly, add in the pasta BUT DO NOT STIR. Just allow it to be as submerged under the liquid as possible by smoothing out with a mixing spoon (it is okay if some of the shells are sticking out above the liquid). Top off with the banana peppers and, again, DO NOT STIR.
- Secure the lid, move the valve to sealing position, hit “Keep Warm/Cancel”, and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done.
- Stir in the roasted red peppers, salami, pepperoni and stir. Then add in the cream and Boursin and stir until melded into the sauce. Lastly, add the Asiago cheese and stir until melded into the sauce.
- Plate it up and top with additional banana peppers if you desire. Of course, this goes great with some crusty Italian bread too!
It’s totally up to you how much meat you want in this pasta. I suggest 4-5 ounces of each but if you feel you want more, add more! Easy to do as we don’t add the salami or pepperoni until the final steps after pressure cooking.
To that point, if you don’t feel like adding in the prosciutto, bacon or pancetta in Step 1, feel free to omit as you’ll have plenty of meat in the salami and pepperoni.
If you’d rather your banana peppers have more volume, add them after pressure cooking with the roasted red peppers. OR just add double the amount of banana peppers and add them before pressure cooking (which infuses a kick into the sauce) AND after! To me, you can never have too many banana peppers!
Some like their Italian heroes with black olives too (raises hand). Feel free to add some sliced ones at the end as well!