Thursday, 8 February 2018

Instant Pot: Italian Bean Stew and Dumplings


Instant Pot Convert Here!

I bought an instant pot last November, mainly because we eat a lot of stews, soups and casseroles over the winter and standing over the stove is not my idea of a barrel of laughs.

Initially, I was going to go for a Crock Pot but when I started reading reviews I kept seeing Instant Pot pop up, so I did some more digging.

It seemed to be the bee's knees so I ordered one.

I have never owned or used any kind of pressure cooker so I was a bit worried about blowing up the kitchen, so far so good!

Quick disclaimer: I often use affiliate links in my post and on my site, this means that I get a small percentage of the same if you choose to buy through my link, at no cost to you.

I feel like my biggest gripe with the Instant Pot - which I love incidentally, is more to do with the wild claims of food bloggers. When I was trawling Pinterest for recipes and reviews I saw all these amazing claims "Rice cooked in 5 minutes", "Whole roast chicken in 30 minutes" and the such like.

Now these claims are not wrong but what they don't mention is that you have to add in the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure, 5-10 minutes and then the time it takes to release afterwards. As a pressure cooker newbie, I was clueless about this and was sucked in by the super fast cooking times.

Due to my ignorance, for the first few weeks, my cooking times were well off and I was having trouble getting a meal to come together, now I pretty much prepare the Instant Pot portion of the meal in advance so I don't have to think about it!

I got the Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker I haven't yet tried the yoghurt function, need to get onto that!

For those in Japan, I ordered this one here - please note that it has an earth on the plug, luckily we have an earthed socket next to the oven so it all plugged in fine but I know other people have had to buy an adapter to make it work for them. Voltage wise it works fine.

Now we have that out of the way... onto the recipe!

Stufato Di Fagioli Con Polpettine Di Pane
Or in other words, Italian bean Stew With Bread Dumplings


This is meat free but still very filling, it's like a hug in a bowl! Perfect for wintery evenings and was pretty quick to throw together. It got a great 9/10 from the family, so this is going on the winners list and into my evernote file of fall back recipes.



I adapted the recipe from Gino's D'Campo's Italian Escape book, mom got it me for Christmas, purely because she fancies Gino!

Serves 4

For the bean stew


2 TBSP Olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pinches dried red chilli flakes
1 TSP fresh chopped rosemary
2 x 400g chopped tomatoes + 1/2 can of water
1 x 400g tinned borlotti beans, drained and rinsed*
1 x 400g tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper

*For those in Japan I get my beans from Yamaya International Liquor store - if you haven't discovered this store yet, go and hunt it out, it's a gem!

For the dumplings


200g ciabatta bread*
200ml milk
1 egg beaten
2 TSP fresh chopped rosemary (recipe called for parsley)
1 TBSP flour
Olive oil

*I didn't have any ciabatta so I dug some random bread leftovers, a couple of homemade buns and the end of a french stick, out of the freezer. Let them defrost and added the milk, I needed a bit more than the recipe stated but that might have been down to the type of bread.






  • Put the olive oil in the instant pot and set to saute.
  • Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the chilli pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Throw in the rest of the ingredients, give a good stir.
  • Change the setting from saute to soup.


Takes 11 minutes cooking time but remember to add the coming up and releasing the pressure!

Dumplings...


  • Chop the bread into small cubes.
  • Warm the milk then pour over the bread, I needed to add a bit more milk, maybe due to the fact it wasn't ciabatta. 
  • Leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the rosemary, egg and flour. The recipe called for lemon zest too but I didn't have any so skipped that bit completely.
  • It should make a sticky type dough.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, scoop the dough into walnut sized balls and cook until golden all over.


Serve on top of the bean stew.

Done!







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