Bolognese Sauce Recipe #2 (Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker) | Striped Spatula

Bolognese Sauce Recipe #2 (Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker) | Striped Spatula

Chef Notes
This is a really really good bolognese. Using tomatoes. Anchovy paste would be super good too. 8/27/21 made again....notes below
Cooking Type
Date Made
Jul 27, 2021
Striped Spatula
Rating /5


1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 cups diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 pound ground beef chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
4 ounces diced pancetta
2 cloves garlic , minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
28 ounces crushed San Marzano tomatoes , in purée
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Italian parsley , divided
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch ground nutmeg (to taste, optional)
kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
cooked tagliatelle, pappardelle, or your favorite pasta , for serving


  • Heat olive oil in the Instant Pot insert on the hottest sauté setting. Add onions, carrots, and celery, and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add ground beef, pork, and pancetta to the Instant Pot with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper. Sauté, breaking up meats with a spoon, until browned and most of the juices have evaporated.
  • Add garlic and tomato paste to the Instant Pot, and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Deglaze the insert with red wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until most of the wine has evaporated.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes in purée, water, and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Bring to a simmer. Place lid on Instant pot, seal, and set the unit to HIGH pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Quick release pressure and carefully lift lid when the float drops. Switch the Instant Pot to the lowest heat sauté setting and bring to a bubble. Simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened to your desired consistency.
  • Stir in heavy cream, remaining 1/4 cup chopped parsley, and ground nutmeg (if using). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Toss with cooked pasta and serve with freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano on the top.
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For the best flavor and texture of this sauce, crushed San Marzano tomatoes are key. Other crushed tomato varieties, or those packed in a more watery juice instead of purée, will yield a thinner, less flavorful sauce.Make ahead: Bolognese sauce can be stored in airtight containers for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or 3-4 months in the freezer.

What are the Ingredients for a Bolognese Sauce?

Bolognese is most often made with minced and sautéed ground beef, pork, and pancetta (cured, unsmoked pork belly). Some recipes add veal, and less commonly, offal.
Most Bolognese recipes, including my family’s, start with a soffritto of carrots, celery, and onions (with or without garlic), cooked in olive oil.
Many go light on the tomatoes, some only calling for a bit of tomato paste added to the browned meat. We’ve always made our Bolognese sauce with our favorite San Marzano tomatoes.
A touch of dairy is added to almost all Bolognese, either by way of milk or cream. To be clear, though, this is not a creamy, dairy-heavy sauce. The splash of dairy serves to soften the acidity of the wine and tomatoes.
After sautéing the soffritto and meats, classic Bolognese is simmered for 3-4 hours. Using the pressure cooker setting on the Instant Pot after the sauté, the sauce cooks for only 20 minutes on high pressure. This shortened cook time also necessitates a smaller overall quantity of liquid in the recipe.
In adapting my family’s Bolognese sauce recipe for pressure cooking, I made a few ingredient adjustments to make sure that the sauce would still have a rich flavor without a slow simmer.
White wine is most commonly used to deglaze the pan after browning the vegetables and meats. Here, I decided to go with a dry red wine to give the sauce an extra depth of flavor that pressure cooked foods can sometimes lack.
I also added a bit of tomato paste in addition to the San Marzano tomatoes. I don’t find that I need the rich flavor of tomato paste with a classic preparation, as the crushed tomatoes concentrate so beautifully on their own over 3 hours.
To make the best bolognese recipe in the Instant pot, the deep tomato flavor of the paste helped to give the sauce that all-day-cooked taste.

How to Use Bolognese Sauce

Since it’s a hearty sauce, Bolognese is best served with a pasta that can stand up to its weight. Tagliatelle (pictured) is the classic pairing, as are wide pappardelle noodles.
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I’ve also served Ragu Bolognese with penne, campanelle, bucatini, and gnocchi. Very thin pastas, like angel hair, aren’t the best choice here.
Want to brush up on your pasta shapes? Check out this Pasta Shapes Dictionary from the National Pasta Association.
You can also use this sauce to make an incredible Lasagna Bolognese. Typically prepared without ricotta cheese, the dish is composed of layers of pasta, Bolognese, and creamy Béchamel. It is, hands down, my favorite type of lasagna.
Watching your carbs? This Bolognese sauce recipe is also delicious served with spaghetti squash.

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So i ended up not using the insta pot. honestly, i had 3 hours and i just didn't feel like reading how to use the insta pot. So, i did this the traditional way on the stove. It's so good. People were waiting to eat so it probably got 2.5hrs on the stove. another hour would have been great. but a solid bolognese!

8/27/21 made again and took the time necessary for a great bolognese. letting the liquids evaporate and giving it a full 3 hours. I used pork, veal and beef, used 2 pounds or a little more so i added an extra T of tomato paste and 1 cup of malbec. Then at the 2 hour mark I added another 1/2 cup of water/wine. it's brilliant.