I have tried and tried to find the angle where this fits into “living the old way” but no matter how I turn it, it’s a stretch at best. This post probably belongs on a food blog somewhere but this recipe has so quickly become a staple at our house on nights that I’m coming in late from chores or an unexpected farm “this can’t wait” event, that I’m going to share it anyway. I’m hoping that if you’ve read along this far that means you’ve already decided to forgive me for not practicing what I preach, haha!
Lasagna cooked in the pressure cooker tastes just like lasagna cooked for an hour and a half in the oven and remarkably has the same texture. I was skeptical about those two things when I tried this experiment but I’m happy to say, we can’t tell any difference. Any lasagna recipe will do since this is more about the method instead of the ingredients, but I’ve included my recipe in here because it makes exactly two round pans. One you can cook right away and one you can freeze, or just freeze them both if you’re that organized!
The pressure cooker I use is actually a new one (gasp) that a friend of ours gave us and I’ll just go ahead and admit, I like it better than my old one with the rocker. The new one is a 6 quart Fagor that regulates its own pressure. It’s super simple, and bigger than my old one, so a disposable aluminum cake pan fits perfectly down in it. It also comes with a more functional trivet than the old ones had. In many ways my old pressure cooker is still better, after all it’s been around for 31 years and still works perfectly, but I do dig this new one. The parts are lesser quality and plastic so I have no expectations that it will last like the old one has, but I’ll just enjoy it while it does. You can take a look at it here:
The disposable aluminum pans that fit in it are the Handi Foil Cook and Carry (they come with lids) that measure 8 and 1/2 x 1 and 5/16. If you turn the little lip up you can get some extra height and the lids still fit fine. They look like this:
One trick I’ve learned is to tie some string to your trivet so you can get the screaming hot pan of lava-like cheese and sauce out of the cooker once it’s done. It’s easy going in, not so easy coming out if you don’t do this!
Here’s the quick and dirty on it:
Pressure Cooker Lasagna
1 Lb Ground Beef, Deer, etc **omit if using Traditional Meat Sauce recipe below
32 oz spaghetti sauce OR 4 Cups Traditional Meat Sauce
15 oz Ricotta Cheese
12 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Extra Basil, Oregano, etc. to your taste if you’re doctoring up a store bought sauce.
8 oz UNCOOKED Lasagna Noodles
Brown meat and drain off any fat. Add sauce, any extra basil, oregano, etc. and simmer for about 10 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients (except noodles) for filling. Divide sauce into two equal portions and filling into two equal portions. This will make splitting the layering between the two pans easier. Use your fingers to turn up the lip of the pans to give some extra height. Then in each pan: Spread 1 cup of meat sauce on bottom of pan. Place one layer of uncooked lasagna on top, breaking the pieces as needed to fit the round pan. Cover with about 3/4 cup of sauce. Spread half of the divided cheese filing over the sauce. Repeat layers of Noodles, Sauce and Cheese Filling. Top with layer of sauce.
If pressure cooking immediately, cover with aluminum foil and place onto trivet in cooker with enough water in the bottom to come up to the bottom of the trivet. Since the one you’re cooking immediately isn’t frozen, bring your cooker up to pressure and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Release the pressure, remove the pan using the strings you tied to the trivet (or whatever variation you’ve come up with) and serve! If you’re using one of the self regulating cookers like the Fagor, use the “High” setting which is 12-15 lbs pressure.
If freezing, secure the clear plastic lid that came with the pans and freeze. When ready to cook, there is no need to thaw. Remove the plastic lid and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Place in the cooker, bring up to pressure and cook for 15 minutes. It will take longer for the cooker to come up to pressure with the slab of frozen lasagna inside, but with the Fagor it’s still less than 5 minutes.
This recipe works really well for spinach lasagna also, just substitute 1 to 1.5 cups of well drained spinach for the browned meat.
Each pan serves 3 to 4 people, assuming they’re not teenage boys. 😉
This post has been shared to a few of my favorite blog hops where we talk about every thing homesteading. Visit the hop for other great recipes here: Homestead Blog Hop