Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Delicious Rice Cooker Pasta Recipe

Pasta can be one of my favourite foods. However, I only really enjoy it when it's lovingly home cooked, as it enables the food to be served the minute it's ready. And the quality of ingredients is easier to verify. Onions and garlic are essential. And mushrooms and bell peppers are excellent vegetables for balancing the meal, both in terms of flavour and nutrition.

This delicious pasta dish can be cooked using a rice cooker. It is suitable for people who do not have hobs at their disposal. For example, I use it in my office, where we only have a microwave and rice cooker.

The meal contains a lot of vegetables, and can therefore be view as healthy from that point of view. However, I like to add a block of cheese, which you may want to leave out. I also used minced beef to add protein. Though I'm trying to cut down on meat and may leave that out too in the future.


Fusilloni Pasta





Vegetable Stock

Olive Oil



Bell Pepper

Cooking Instructions

Take the minced beef out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you start cooking. Cold mince is harder to stir.

Add the pasta to the rice cooker. Some rice cookers come with a rubber pad to stop the pasta sticking to the bottom of the rice cooker. If you have one, use it, otherwise don't worry about it. Cover the pasta with cold water.

Finely chop the onion and garlic. I used 6 cloves of garlic, and 1.5 onions. Add them to the rice cooker.

Chop the mushrooms into quarters and the bell pepper into small 1cm squares. If you want a fine sauce, chop the vegetables into even smaller portions. Add these to the rice cooker.

Chop up the tomatoes. There is no need to remove the skins as they improve the texture of the final result. A tin of tomatos could be use instead or as well.

Season the mixture with salt and pepper. And add the oregano, basil and vegetable stock.

If using cheese, chop it unto 1cm cubes and add it to the mix.

Finally, add the minced beef.

Pour over a healthy amount of olive oil and mix up the food.

Turn on the rice cooker and let it all cook.

Potential Issues

There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, and smaller rice cookers may not cope. If the rice cooker goes to "keep warm" mode too soon, and the food obviously isn't cooked yet, then take out half of the mixture and continue cooking the remaining half. The removed mixture can be cooked afterwards or saved for another day.

Jon C is the head chef at dawjee.com. He believes that providing his staff with good nourishing meals enables them to perform more productively.

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