This is one of my favorite ways to get a big bowl of creamy, comforting, meat-free pasta on the table in under 30 minutes. (Believe me, I was surprised to be able to cook perfectly al dente noodles in the Instant Pot, too!) I'm an ardent fan of butternut squash, which features prominently here. I like to pair it with crispy, browned cremini mushrooms, but you can riff to your heart's desire—smashed and browned chickpeas would be nice, as would be bacon or pancetta, if that's more your style! —Ella Quittner
3 or more
chopped cremini mushrooms, in pieces roughly the size of beans
large yellow onion, finely diced (about 2 cups)
(heaping) kosher salt, plus 1 large pinch
freshly cracked black or white pepper
1 1/2 pounds
chopped butternut squash, seeds and skin removed, in roughly 3/4-inch cubes
(dried) fettuccine noodles
water, room temperature
grated Parmesan (tightly packed, about 2.5 ounces), plus more for serving
Turn your multi-cooker on to its sauté setting. Add the butter, let it melt, and then add the mushrooms. Sauté until they’re browned all over, about 5 minutes. Remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onions, squash, 2 heaping teaspoons salt, and pepper. Sauté a few more minutes, mixing every so often, until the onions are beginning to turn translucent.
Add the wine. Pause for a few moments to let the wine come to a simmer, as you scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and nutmeg, stir, and let the mixture come back to a simmer. Take the uncooked noodles in a bundle and use your hands to break them in half, so you have noodles that are 1/2 the length of normal fettuccine. Add them to the pot of vegetables and liquid, along with 1/4 cup water, and stir to submerge the noodles as much as you can (it’s okay if they’re sticking out a tiny bit at the top—they'll slump into the liquid as they cook). Put the lid on the cooker and turn to pressure cook mode on high for 5 minutes (or for 6 minutes if you like your noodles more well-done, less al dente).
Once the pressure cooking has finished, let the pressure release naturally for a few minutes before turning your steam valve to allow a quick release. Add the grated Parmesan, the reserved browned mushrooms, and the additional pinch of salt. Toss with the pasta and sauce until the cheese has melted and the sauce becomes a creamy, glossy coating to the noodles. (The fettuccine will cook a little more as you toss.) Let any softened chunks of squash that want to break up as you stir do so. Top individual bowls with more grated Parmesan.
Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.