Instant Pot Sausage Curls

When I released my Sausage & Shells, it broke the pasta internet (Rachael Ray was a huge fan). And my Alla Vodka is one of the most popular recipes in my first cookbook (the orange one). So it was only fitting to sort of marry the two into a huge crowdpleaser I like to call Sausage Curls.

This pasta is so outrageous and easy to make. So much that if the Instant Pot was around back when the big bad wolf paid the three little pigs a visit, things may have turned out a little differently.

 
Sausage Curls
Shallots
Start off with a couple of shallots…
Diced shallots
…and dice ’em up.
Italian sausage
And now let’s focus on the sausage! I prefer Italian sausage and use a mix of hot and sweet but you can use one or the other. That said, while Italian sausage is preferred you can really use any sausage you wish.
Sausage slicing
Pro Tip: To easily slice a sausage link, pop them in the freezer for 5-10 minutes and they will slice without the meat coming out of the casing – a total game changer!
Sliced sausage
When done slicing the sausage into bite-size pieces, set it aside.
Butter added to pot
Add some butter to the Instant Pot and hit that sauté button.
Melted butter
Once the butter’s melted…
Adding shallots to pot
…add in the shallots.
Sautéing shallots
Sauté the shallots for a few minutes until softened.
Adding sausage to pot
Then, toss in the sausage…
Adding garlic to pot.
…and, naturally, some garlic.
Sautéed sausage
Sauté for a few moments longer until the sausage is just lightly browned (and not fully cooked).
Pouring broth
Pour in some broth…
Adding marinara sauce
…some marinara sauce (use your favorite)…
Adding fresh basil leaves
…and fresh basil leaves.
Stirring pot.
Give the pot a good stir so everything is combined.
Adding pasta to pot.
Time to get curly! Add in some cavatappi or cellentani pasta (same thing)…
Smoothing out pasta
…but DO NOT STIR. Just smooth it out with a wooden spatula or mixing spoon so it’s mostly submerged in the sauce.
Add a few pats of butter to the top of the pasta…
Stewed tomatoes added to pot
…as well as a can of stewed tomatoes (DON’T STIR!)…
Adding baby spinach to the pot.
…and top it off with some baby spinach. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
Wilted spinach
When done cooking, you’ll see the spinach will have wilted down into nothing!
Stirring pot.
Give the pot a good stir and you’ll see the pasta will have cooked perfectly!
Adding more marinara sauce to pot
Add in some more marinara (NOTE: we are adding this now as opposed to before pressure cooking because it would have made the sauce too think to come to pressure. It also provides extra body to add it now).
Adding heavy cream to pot.
And dairy it up with some heavy cream…
Adding Parmesan
…grated Parmesan…
Adding Boursin
…Boursin, cream cheese or any spreadable herb cheese…
Adding oregano
…and some fresh oregano leaves.
Stirring pot
Give everything a good stir until all the dairy is blended into the sauce.
Adding hot spices to the pot
Totally optional, but if you want it spicy, feel free to add some cayenne, crushed rep pepper flakes or hot sauce.
Finished pasta
After a moment on letting the pasta rest and allowing the sauce to come together, it’s time to serve!
Plating pasta.
Place some of these tasty little “pig tails” in a bowl.
Man holding pasta
Now, the big bad wolf will show you what they’ve accomplished.
Man eating pasta
Huff, puff and try those sausage curls.
Man with dog
In fact it’s so good, that a REAL (mini and friendly) wolf may come in your home!
And lick the leftovers from your face!
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Sausage Curls

Instant Pot Sausage Curls

When I released my Sausage & Shells, it broke the pasta internet (Rachael Ray was a huge fan). And my Alla Vodka is one of the most popular recipes in my first cookbook (the orange one). So it was only fitting to sort of marry the two into a huge crowdpleaser I like to call Sausage Curls.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes

Ingredients

Spicy Options:

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and Adjust so it's on the More or High setting. Once melted, add the shallot and sauté for 2 minutes until just softened. Add the sausage and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes longer until the sausage is just lightly browned (it should not be fully cooked at all).
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce, broth and fresh basil leaves. Stir until well combined.
  3. Top with the pasta but do not stir. Just smooth it out with a mixing spoon or spatula so it's mostly submerged in the sauce. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter cut into pats, the can of stewed tomatoes and baby spinach.
  4. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position and hit Cancel followed by Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done.
  5. Add the remaining 2 cups of marinara, heavy cream, Parmesan, Boursin or cream cheese, and fresh oregano. If using the optional spicy ingredients, feel free to add those now as well. Stir until the dairy is fully combined into sauce. Let it rest for about 3 minutes to come together before serving topped with additional Parmesan and oregano, if desired.

Jeffrey's Tips

Like a sponge, pasta always continues to absorb whatever liquids or sauces that coat it - even after cooking. If you have leftovers, just heat it up in your Instant Pot on Sauté and stir in a little milk or cream to reconstitute the sauciness!

To easily slice a sausage link, pop them in the freezer for 5-10 minutes and they will slice without the meat coming out of the casing - a total game changer!

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