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Pressure Cooker Three Cheese Ziti


This homey dish brings to mind all the goodness of traditional baked ziti, but it's ready in minutes rather than hours. And only one pot to clean!

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  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces ziti or other short pasta
  • 1 (28-ounce) can peeled plum tomatoes (with liquid)
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Herb Blend
  • 1 cup ricotta (whole milk or low-fat)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan or Romano, grated, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup (about 6 ounces) mozzarella cheese, shredded or finely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


Servings 4
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 25mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Combine the water, onions, and salt in a 4-quart pressure cooker. Bring to a boil. Stir in the ziti. Pour the tomatoes on top of the ziti, crushing the tomatoes in you hand as you empty the can. Do not stir after you add the tomatoes. Add the garlic.

Lock the lid in place. Over high heat bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Quick-release the pressure under cold water. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow steam to escape.

Stir in the Italian Herb Blend, ricotta, and parmesan. Separate any ziti that are stuck together and release any that are clinging to the bottom of the cooker. Distribute half of the mozzarella on top. Use a rubber spatula or large spoon to scoop ziti from the bottom and set it on top of the mozzarella. Repeat with remaining mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Let the dish rest in the cooker for 3-5 minutes, giving the mixture time to thicken. If the pasta is not uniformly tender, cover the cooker during this period and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is done.

Serve in pasta bowls with a generous dusting of parmesan on top of each portion.

Italian Herb Blend:
Mix all ingredients in small bottle. Shake well. Store in a cook, dark place and use within 4 months.

Stir in ¼ cup chopped fesh basil or parsley along with the chesses.

Transfromations (follow basic recipe except as noted)
Ziti with meat or fresh sausage: before adding water and onions, brown ½ pound ground meat (beef, pork, veal, or lamb) or fresh Italian sausage (sweet or hot; casings removed) in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pour off any excess fat. When you add water, be sure to scrape up any browned bits sticking to bottom of cooker.

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