When I was in Florence (Firenze to the Italians, pronounced “Fur-en-zay”), I had a pasta dish I will never forget as long as I live.
It was a rigatoni in a delicious marinara sauce that looked simple on the surface, but once delved into, it became apparent this was no ordinary sauce. All of a sudden, strands of stretchy CHEESE began to come out of the sauce with each forkful of rigatoni – as if it were hiding within the sauce. Like the most amazing game of peek-a-boo ever! The dish was simply so astounding I had to come up with a version of my own.
And so, Rigatoni Firenze was born and boy oh boy is it going to be one of the easiest and tastiest recipes you’ll be making in your Instant Pot!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Take an onion…
…and dice it up.
Then, go to the Instant Pot and add in some olive oil…
…and sauté the onion in it for a few minutes.
Now let’s add in some garlic…
…and combine it with the onions…
…as well as some basil leaves and sauté those for a moment as well.
Pour in some broth (I like garlic broth but chicken broth will do fine too)…
…as well as a can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes.
Give everything a good stir.
Season it up with some kosher salt…
…and some red wine.
Stir very well.
Finally, let’s add in our rigatoni!
Dump it in but DO NOT STIR! Simply use a spoon to smooth it out…
…so it looks like this when done. (It’s okay if some of the rigatoni peaks above the sauce). Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, give everything a good stir. The pasta may be a bit al dente but that’s good as it will continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes as we stir in our cheese to make this marinara sauce magical!
Add in some shredded Mozzarella (the creamier, the better)…
…and give it a good stir. Look at that cheesy action!
And then add in some shaved/shredded Asiago…
…and stir until well combined.
Place some into bowls…
…top with more shaved Asiago and basil, if you want to make it look all pretty and stuff.
And once you sink your fork into it, be mesmerized by that marinara cheesiness!
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
- 5-10 fresh basil leaves, plus one leaf per bowl for garnish
- 28 oz can of Crushed tomatoes (use San Marzano if you can swing it – worth the difference)
- 1.5 cups of garlic broth or chicken broth (I say 3/4 cup in the video, but I actually suggest 1.5 cups and go for 2.5 cups if using an 8qt instead of a 6qt)
- 1/4 cup of a dry red wine (like a Pinot Noir but just use extra broth if you don’t want to use wine)
- 1 tsp of kosher salt
- 1 tsp of seasoned salt
- 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp of oregano
- 1 box (1 lb) of rigatoni
- 1 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese (use a creamy one if possible)
- 1/4 cup of shredded or shaved Asiago cheese, plus more for garnish
- On the Instant Pot, hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Add the olive oil to the pot, heat it up and then add in the onion and sauté for 5 minutes
- Add in the garlic and basil leaves in sauté for another minute with the onion
- Pour in the broth and crushed tomatoes and give everything a stir
- Next, add in the red wine, kosher salt, seasoned salt, oregano, Italian seasoning and stir everything together once more
- Then, add in the rigatoni and smooth it out so it’s submerged in the sauce but DO NOT STIR!
- Secure the lid and cook for 8 minutes at high pressure for al dente (firmer, chewier) noodles or 10 minutes for softer noodles. Quick release when done
- When the lid comes off, stir the rigatoni up with the sauce so everything gets mixed together well (NOTE: If the pasta seems not totally done or too al dente, it will be shortly as you will be stirring it in the heated sauce for a few more moments when you add the cheese)
- Add in the Mozzarella and Asiago and stir for about 3-5 minutes as the pasta continues to heat. The cheese will be gooey and stretchy as first, but will then become hidden in the sauce on the surface as it melds into the sauce. Once you dig into it, it will be ever so present.
- Place some into individual bowls and top with additional shaved Asiago cheese and a basil leaf for presentation
You can really use any cheese of your choice, but I suggest a melty cheese (like a creamy Mozzarella) so it really mixes into the sauce.
Want the sauce a little creamier? Add in 1/3 cup of heavy cream after pressure cooking just before stirring in the cheese.
Want it a little meaty? Sauté some Italian sausage (sweet or hot) with the onions until cooked, remove with a slotted spoon before adding the pasta, set aside and then add back in when adding the cheese!