Instant Pot Wholesale Club Pasta

If you’ve been to Costco and browsed their magical take & bake section, you’ll likely have found a pasta that may or may not have been inspired by my world-famous Sausage & Shells. There’s no true way of knowing but when I saw it, I obviously had to try it…and it’s friggin’ delish. It’s not quite as rich or decadent as the sausage & shells because it lacks that creamy, cheesy finish, but what it does have is a light and wonderful garlic-wine sauce to make it special. I re-created it for you and I call this Wholesale Club Pasta as an homage.

Instead of shells, Costco uses orecchiette, a starchy ear or frisbee-shaped pasta. But you can also just as easily use medium shells for this Wholesale Club Pasta if you can’t find that.

Wholesale Club Pasta
Italian sausage
This pasta focuses on Italian sausage. And why shouldn’t it? It’s loaded with meaty flavor. Take some hot, sweet or a mix of the two…
Sliced sausage
…and slice into bite-size chunks. (TIP: Pop the sausage links in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before slicing so they hold their form nicely when you slice them up).
Adding butter to pot
Add some butter to the Instant Pot and give it some heat.
melted butter
Once the butter’s melted and bubbling…
Adding sausage to pot
…add the sausage…
adding garlic to pot.
…along with some garlic.
Sautéing sausage & garlic
Sauté the sausage & garlic for just a few moments.
Adding wine to pot
Wine is what makes this pasta’s sauce what it is. Add a cheap dry white (like a chardonnay) to the pot.
Adding broth to pot
And we’ll also add some broth of your choice (I prefer chicken or garlic flavor)…
Adding Italian seasoning to pot.
…and some Italian seasoning.
Stirring pot
Stir it all together well.
Adding pasta to pot
Now we’ll add in the orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta)…
Smoothing out pasta
…but DO NOT STIR! Simply smooth it out with a mixing spoon (NOTE: It’s fine if it’s not covered much by the broth).
Topping pot with cherry tomatoes
Top with some cherry or grape tomatoes…
Adding spinach to pot
…and baby spinach (don’t worry if it seems like it’s going to overflow – it will cook down to nothing). And that’s it! Secure the lid and pressure cook.
Wilted spinach
When done, you’ll see that spinach will have, indeed, totally wilted.
Stirring Pot
Give the pot a stir. Now we only have one more ingredient to add…
Adding grated Parmesan to pot
Grated Parmesan! Add it in.
Stirring pot
…and give it one last stir. This wondrous pasta is now whole(sale) and complete.
Pasta in a bowl
Place some in a bowl (or mini ones if you want to serve it sample-style a la Costco).
Man showing pasta
Now comes the best part: “sampling” it!
Man smiling with pastas
Admire the sausage, spinach and orecchiette…
Man eating pasta
…open wide…
Man enjoying pasta
And for a moment, realize how deliciously wonderful life can be.
Instant Pot Wholesale Club Pasta
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Wholesale Club Pasta

Instant Pot Wholesale Club Pasta

If you've been to Costco and browsed their magical take & bake section, you'll likely have found a pasta that may or may not have been inspired by my world-famous Sausage & Shells. There's no true way of knowing but when I saw it, I obviously had to try it...and it's friggin' delish. It's not quite as rich or decadent as the sausage & shells because it lacks that creamy, cheesy finish, but what it does have is a light and wonderful garlic-wine sauce to make it special. I re-created it for you and call this Wholesale Club Pasta as an homage.

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

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 2 pounds Italian sausage (sweet, hot or a mix of each), sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (see Jeff’s Tips)
  • 9 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine (like a chardonnay), divided (see Jeff's Tips)
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken or garlic broth (e.g Garlic Better Than Bouillon)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 pound orecchiette (frisbee/ear-shaped pasta, see Jeff’s Tips)
  • 10-20 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 5-8 ounces baby spinach
  • ½ - 1 cup of Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Add the butter to the Instant Pot. Hit Sauté and Adjust so it's on the More or High setting. Once melted and bubbling, add the sausage and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until the sausage is lightly browned.
  2. Add ½ cup of the wine and (deglaze) scrape the bottom of the pot so any browned bits come up. The bottom of the pot should be nice and clear.
  3. Add the remaining 1 cup of wine, broth and Italian seasoning.
  4. Add the pasta but do not stir. Just smooth it out with a mixing spoon so it’s mostly submerged in the broth. Top with the tomatoes and spinach and also do not stir. Secure the lid and move the valve to the sealing position. Hit Cancel followed by Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done.
  5. Stir in the Parmesan cheese (start with ½ cup and then decide if you want more) and serve.

Jeffrey's Tips

The wine makes the flavor of this sauce, but if you cannot tolerate it, simple swap it out for another 1 ½ cups broth.

Orecchiette is pretty easy to find in most markets, but if you can’t feel free to use medium shells or a small penne. Same cook time.

To keep it from caving in and getting a bit messy, a great tip to slicing raw sausage is popping it into the freezer for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This will help it keep its form.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Stella

    This is similar to a favorite dish for us Italian-Americans, only we make it with broccoli rabe, without the wine. I’m looking forward to trying it your way!

  2. Mary

    Jeffrey, I’ve been a fan of yours for awhile and hav enjoyed many of your recipes. But this?! Shut the front door! I mean. There are no words…I could swim I the butter/garlic/Parmesan sauce. Were I on my deathbed, this would EASILY be the last meal I requested. It’s that good!

  3. Sara

    This was a huge hit here! We love the Costco version, and everyone agrees this was even better. Substituted for chicken Italian sausage and whole wheat pasta to keep things a little healthier. The kids all chowed down. A definite keeper.

  4. Pam

    Some changes I made- used red wine and beef broth. I also added green peppers and onion. All for a richer flavor.

    • Jeffrey

      That will greatly change the flavor. I think I’d prefer it as written with the white wine but glad it worked out!

  5. Gina

    Cannot wait to try this! I love your sausage & shells and when I saw this I thought why’d you change the name?

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