Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce 6.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Instant Pot Mar 8, 2019

Using an electric multicooker cuts down considerably on the time required to make this kind of ragu. It won’t give you the deep, sweet-savory complexity of a true Bolognese, and you will miss out on the dramatic visual transformation that takes place with a slowly simmering sauce, but it offers a pretty good facsimile.

For this recipe, please refer to the instruction manual of your multicooker for how to properly set the appliance and release steam after cooking.

Egg or spinach tagliatelle or tagliolini, or wide noodles such as pappardelle are good pasta choices for this sauce.

Make Ahead: The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat gently before serving.

6 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-12 servings; makes 6 cups; enough for 2 pounds of pasta

  • 8 ounces ground beef, preferably from boneless chuck roast
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed well and finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced pancetta
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup plain tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup beef broth, preferably homemade
  • One 3-inch Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Select the SAUTE option on the multicooker and adjust to MORE/HIGH heat. Once the interior pot is hot, add the ground beef and pork; cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Transfer the meat to a bowl.

Return the interior pot to its multicooker appliance, then add the oil. Stir in the onion, carrot, celery, pancetta and baking soda; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender (the baking soda speeds up the softening of the vegetables). Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously, until it begins to darken. Add the wine; cook for 1 minute, using a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Press CANCEL.

Return the meat to the pot. Add the tomatoes, broth, the Parm rind, if using, and the bay leaf. Lock on the lid, select the PRESSURE COOK function, and adjust to HIGH pressure for 30 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is in the “sealing” position and that the “Keep Warm” button is off.

When the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure. Discard the Parm rind, if using, and the bay leaf.

Stir in the cream. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

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Recipe Source

From “Instant Pot Italian: 100 Irresistible Recipes Made Easier Than Ever," by Ivy Manning (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018).

Tested by Domenica Marchetti and Diana Maxwell.

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