Instant Pot Rigatoni with Mascarpone Cheese

This Instant Pot Rigatoni combines tomato sauce with mascarpone cheese to make a rich and creamy pasta which is perfect for date nights or whenever you want to eat a really nice bowl of pasta!
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Make this fancy looking (and tasting!) rigatoni in your pressure cooker in 30 minutes! This Instant Pot Rigatoni has a luxurious creamy sauce flavored with mascarpone cheese making it the perfect meal for special occasions and date nights!

rigatoni pasta served in a white round bowl, garnished with basil

I am back with yet another Instant Pot pasta recipe and this might just be my favorite one so far! I know I have shared so many Instant Pot pasta recipes in the past (this tomato basil is universally loved!) but I truly never get tired of them. I love cooking pasta in my instant pot, it’s absolutely one of my favorite things to cook in the IP.

It was a game changer when I discovered how easy and convenient it is to cook pasta in the Instant Pot. This Instant Pot Rigatoni with mascarpone cheese is my current favorite and I cannot stress enough how good this one is! It looks and tastes so fancy but honestly it is so easy to make.

All you need is few ingredients and your beloved Instant Pot and you would be able to make this recipe in 30 minutes including the prep time.

You Will Love This Recipe Because!

  • it gets done in 30 minutes!
  • is a one-pot pasta recipe, so less dishes to wash.
  • perfect pasta for special occasions and date nights.
  • is rich, creamy and so good.
  • tastes fancy but is so easy to make!

My favorite part about cooking pasta in the Instant Pot is definitely the fact that I don’t have to boil the pasta separately. That saves so much time. Ever since I started cooking pasta in IP, I don’t think I have cooked pasta on stove-top and don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon either.

Ingredients

ingredients for instant pot rigatoni pasta arranged on a board

Rigatoni: for this recipe, we are using rigatoni pasta which is a tube shaped pasta and is larger than penne. Since these are larger, they also take more time to cook in the Instant Pot.

Seasonings: the pasta is lightly seasoned with Italian seasoning, red chilies flakes.

Crushed tomatoes: to make the sauce smooth, I like using crushed canned tomatoes in this recipe. The one I used was completely smooth. You may substitute these with diced tomatoes, should be okay.

Flavorings: the pasta gets it’s flavor from fresh garlic, onion. There’s also some sugar, balsamic vinegar and tomato paste to enhance the flavors. If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, you can substitute with red wine vinegar. Cream makes this pasta creamier!

Mascarpone cheese: it’s add creaminess and touch of sweetness to the pasta.

I also add a handful of spinach at the end, but it is optional.

Step by Step Instructions

1- Press the sauté button on your Instant pot, then press the sauté button again to set sauté to “less” (some models might have the “adjust” button for this). Once it displays hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Then add 1 medium chopped sweet onion and 4 to 5 large chopped garlic cloves.

2- Stir well, then add in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook the onions and garlic for 4 to 5 minutes until softened.

3- Once done, add in 1.5 teaspoons Italian seasoning and give a mix.

4- Then add 1 cup (8oz/240 ml) water and stir. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula to deglaze the pot and remove any browned bits that might have stuck to the bottom of the pot from sautéing the onions (although this is unlikely since we sauté on “less”).

step by step picture collage of making rigatoni pasta in Instant Pot

5- Next, add in the following:

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (to taste)

6- Then add in 14 oz of crushed tomatoes. This is around 1 & 1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes. Give a stir.

7- Add in 8 oz rigatoni pasta and then using your spatula, press the pasta slightly so that it’s under the liquid a little.

8- Close the pot with the lid and press the pressure cook/manual button and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 2 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.

step by step picture collage of making rigatoni pasta in Instant Pot

9- Press the sauté button again (it will be on “less” since that’s how it was before), add in 2 to 3 tablespoons cream.

10- Then add in 2 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese. Stir until everything is well combined and cheese melts. Also add 3/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes. You can add more to taste.

11- Add in handful of chopped spinach.

12- Stir and cook for 1 minute, unplug the pot. Taste test and add more salt at this point if needed. Serve the pasta with freshly cracked black pepper, fresh basil. You can also top with some parmesan cheese!

step by step picture collage of making rigatoni pasta in Instant Pot

Vegan Options

If you want to make this Instant Pot Rigatoni vegan, I would recommend these 2 options.

  1. You can serve it as is after the pasta is done cooking. It’s quite good on it’s own as well. Just add in the spinach and chili flakes and serve.
  2. Or you can add in some coconut milk to make it creamier after the pressure cooking.

Using Other Pasta Shapes

If you want to make this Instant Pot Rigatoni recipe but do not have rigatoni, you may use other shapes. The pressure cooking time will change though depending on the size of the pasta you use.

For example if you use penne, I would recommend reducing the pressure cooking time to 4 minutes. For Farfalle pressure cook for 5 to 6 minutes on high pressure.

Mascarpone Cheese Substitution

Since this is pasta is called Rigatoni with Mascarpone Cheese, I would highly recommend not replacing it. However if you really want to make this and can’t find mascarpone, then you can substitute with cream cheese. They are quite similar in texture. You can also skip the cheese entirely. I would not skip on the cream though.

Can I Use Diced Tomatoes?

Yes, you can use diced tomatoes. I would recommend maybe pulsing them in a blender to make them fine and then use. But you can use it straight away as well, should be okay.

rigatoni pasta served in a white round bowl, with jar of tomatoes in the background

Stove-top Instructions

You can definitely make this pasta even if you don’t have an Instant Pot. You would just need to boil the pasta first according to instructions on the package.

Check the recipe card below for stove-top instructions.

Tips & Notes

  • If using whole wheat rigatoni, I would probably increase the pressure cooking time to 10 minutes. This recipe has been tested with regular white flour rigatoni only.
  • If you are not a fan of spinach you can skip it. You can stir in some freshly chopped basil as well.
  • Veggies like peppers and mushrooms can be added to this paste. I would add the mushrooms (slice them thick) before pressure cooking whereas sliced peppers after the pressure cooking is done. They will retain their crunch and texture this way.
  • This recipe was tested in a 6qt. If you have a bigger 8qt, you may need to add some extra water (especially if you have a newer model prone to the burn message).

More Instant Pot Pasta

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Instant Pot Rigatoni with Mascarpone Cheese

rigatoni pasta served in a white round bowl, garnished with basil
Manali
This Instant Pot Rigatoni combines tomato sauce with mascarpone cheese to make a rich and creamy pasta which is perfect for date nights or whenever you want to eat a really nice bowl of pasta!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 3
Calories 498 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil extra-virgin
  • 1 medium sweet onion chopped
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup water 8 oz/240 ml
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar to taste
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes around 1 & 1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz rigatoni pasta
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed chili flakes adjust to taste
  • handful of spinach chopped

To serve

  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh basil
  • parmesan cheese optional

Instructions
 

  • Press the sauté button on your Instant pot, then press the sauté button again to set sauté to "less" (some models might have the "adjust" button for this). Once it displays hot, add olive oil. Then add the chopped onion and garlic cloves.
  • Stir well, then add in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook the onions and garlic for 4 to 5 minutes until softened.
    Once done, add in the Italian seasoning and give a mix.
  • Then add 1 cup (8oz/240 ml) water and stir. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula to deglaze the pot and remove any browned bits that might have stuck to the bottom of the pot from sautéing the onions (although this is unlikely since we sauté on "less").
  • Next, add the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Then add in 14 oz of crushed tomatoes. This is around 1 & 1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes. Give a stir.
  • Add in the rigatoni pasta and then using your spatula, press the pasta slightly so that it's under the liquid a little.
  • Close the pot with the lid and press the pressure cook/manual button and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 2 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
  • Press the sauté button again (it will be on "less" since that's how it was before), add in the cream. Then add in the mascarpone cheese. Stir until everything is well combined and the cheese melts. Also add 3/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes. You can add more to taste.
  • Add in handful of chopped spinach. Stir and cook for 1 minute, unplug the pot. Taste test and add more salt at this point if needed. Serve the pasta with freshly cracked black pepper, fresh basil. You can also top with some parmesan cheese!

Stove-top Instructions

  • Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package and set aside. Heat a large pan on medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil and then add garlic, onion along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for around 4 to 5 minutes until the onions soften.
    Then add the Italian seasoning, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Give a quick stir. Add in the crushed tomatoes and let it heat up for 1 minute. Then add in the cream and mascarpone cheese mix until cheese melts and everything is nice and smooth.
    Add in the boiled pasta, mix until it's well coated with the sauce. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minutes. Add in the crushed pepper flakes. Stir and remove pan from heat. Serve with fresh black pepper, basil and parmesan cheese!

Notes

  • If using whole wheat rigatoni, I would probably increase the pressure cooking time to 10 minutes. This recipe has been tested with regular white flour rigatoni only.
  • If you are not a fan of spinach you can skip it. You can stir in some freshly chopped basil as well.
  • Veggies like peppers and mushrooms can be added to this paste. I would add the mushrooms (slice them thick) before pressure cooking whereas sliced peppers after the pressure cooking is done. They will retain their crunch and texture this way.
  • This recipe was tested in a 6qt. If you have a bigger 8qt, you may need to add some extra water (especially if you have a newer model prone to the burn message).

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 14gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 632mgPotassium: 779mgFiber: 7gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 671IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

8 thoughts on “Instant Pot Rigatoni with Mascarpone Cheese

  1. Love this recipe! If I want to double the quantity of pasta cooked (for a larger group of people), do I still high pressure cook it for the same time? Or should it be increased? And if increased, by how much?

    1. Thanks Parool! You can double the recipe, pressure cooking time remains same since it depends on the size of the ingredient and not the quantity.

    1. I actually used a can in which tomatoes were already pureed. If you can use can of chopped tomatoes and pulse them in a blender and then use

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