I was reading the Spring 2016 issue of Ricardo Magazine during football practice last night. This particular issue is filled with all sorts of Canadian food related statistics and I found many of them quite interesting. From the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast, it seems as though we Canadians have many differences in our food preferences and styles…but the most overwhelming statistic to me was that 40% of all Canadians start planning dinner at 4 pm. Oh, man…does that sound familiar to me! That 4 o’clock panic when you open the fridge and try to scrape something together before you taxi the kids off to wherever it is they have to be. It really hit home that I am not alone in this world, or country.
I am always looking for recipes that are tasty and can be made within an hour or less but most of the time I just wing it with what is in the refrigerator and see what happens. On Sunday my son had football from 5:30-7:30. Such a difficult time; it is too early to eat before and then when we got home everyone was starving and hangry. Plus, we always watch The Walking Dead together as a family before the teens head off to bed. So basically I was given half an hour to make dinner. Challenge accepted!
Luckily I still have jars of my home made passata and that sauce, along with the beef mince, grape tomatoes, fresh basil, and other pantry staples became the ingredients for my Instapot Meatballs and Spaghetti. I enlisted some help from the family, shouting out ingredients to be retrieved from the basement (sauce), pantry (Spaghetti, spices and herbs, bread crumbs, garlic, and onion), and fridge (grape tomatoes, eggs, beef mince) while I started a pot of salted water for the spaghetti and set up the Instant Pot. I added all the meatball ingredients and mixed them up, then got hubby to form the balls while I added all the sauce ingredients to the Instant Pot. When all the meatballs had been dropped into the Instant Pot, I closed the lid and added 15 minutes to the manual timer. Then I boiled the spaghetti. Fifteen minutes later we were eating and enjoying our meatballs and the latest Walking Dead episode.
20 Minute Instapot Meatballs and Spaghetti
- 1 jar (plain, basil added, or garlic added) passata (2 cups; about 500 ml.)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 garlic cloves; minced
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 10 good sized fresh basil leaves; chiffonade cut
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes; sliced in halves
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb minced beef
- 1/4 onion; very finely diced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic; minced
- 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper
- spaghetti prepared as per package directions