Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Pineapple Marinara

That is sage on top...I love pineapple and sage :)

I got a brand spankin new pressure cooker for Christmas, a Fagor Duo 8-Quart to be exact. I have been busting to try it and I finally settled on making this delicious Pineapple Marinara sauce for my hawaiian pizza (which I will post in the coming days). Pressure cookers have been around for a long time, but they are starting have a resurgence now do to their new safety measures (they won't explode in your kitchen anymore) and lots of new publicity from major cookbooks and TV shows. Pressure cookers are back baby! The beauty with pressure cookers is their ability to cook anything at a higher temperature. You see, any food product contains water and the boiling point of water is 212°F. So, therefore, nothing can be cooked past that temperature while it contains water. You can put a steak in an 800°F, but it will never pass 212°F, unless of course you completely dehydrate it. Pressure Cookers can get us around that barrier. Whenever you raise the pressure you essentially raise the boiling point. The Fagor Duo 8-Quart is one of the best on the market and can reach full pressure of 1 Bar, or 15 psi, which essentially increases the cooking environment to 250°F. Given this advantage, you can cook whatever it is your cooking 70% more efficient and given the increased temperature, you can get a lot more depth of flavor. I highly recommend everybody having a pressure cooker in your home, not only are they extremely versatile, but extremely efficient. They are definitely worth the cupboard space!

  • 2 cups yellow onion, large dice
  • 1 cup carrots, medium dice
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups pineapple, medium dice
  • 1/2 cup prosciutto, diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Add the onion, carrot, garlic, pineapple and prosciutto to the bowl of a food processor and mince. Work in batches if they don't all fit. 

Add the olive oil to the base of the pressure cooker and saute the minced vegetables over medium heat until the onions turns translucent, about 4 minutes. 

Stir in 1/2 the can of crushed tomatoes, reserve the rest for another use. Pressure-cook at a gauge pressure of 1 bar/15 psi for 45 minutes. Don't start timing until full pressure is reached.  Once 45 minutes has passed, depressurize the pressure cooker. Blend sauce with an immersion blender until smooth. Season with EVOO and salt to taste.

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