This is my all-time favorite go-to recipe for weeknights. Not just because I love meat sauce, but because I feel like I have accomplished a lot when I make it. I mean, homemade red sauce on a weeknight. I just amaze myself a little. On top of that, I haven’t purchased jarred marinara sauce since I got my pressure cooker, that’s how easy this is! So I feel good about feeding my family, too.
This sauce is especially good when I have fresh summer tomatoes on hand to add to the mix. Especially when tomatoes are abundant in the summer and I can make a really big batch and freeze some for friends or for later.
It’s an easy go-to recipe to make and take to others as gifts, or to help out a new mom, or for that meal train.
Our family eats meat sauce at least every other week. And buying the jarred marinara was my go-to. But you just can’t beat fresh sauce.
In the summer, I buy fresh tomatoes from the farmers market, or I get some from my good friend who grows just about anything she can on her “farm.” She’s getting ready to grow some amazing flowers, and I just can’t even wait for those! But I digress ...
Fresh tomatoes. If you use them in this recipe, they’re more watery than canned crushed tomatoes. So I do suggest, before cooking them, roughly chop the tomatoes in a blender or food processor. When I dice the tomatoes or cut them, they just don’t get the best consistency. Once you whip them through the blender or processor, you can add the tomatoes as indicated in the recipe. Get a can of tomato paste and once the sauce is done cooking, add 1 tabelsepoon at a time until you get the consistency you like.
Serve over your favorite pasta.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Meat Sauce
1 pound ground beef or a mix with Italian sausage or ground pork
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 white onion, diced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar (this is to counteract the tomato acidity)
1-2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 3 cloves garlic)
Salt to taste
For the sauce:
In the Instant Pot on sauté, brown the ground beef, onion and season with salt and pepper.
Add the dried basil, oregano and garlic, stir.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, sugar and season with salt. Add the bay leaf.
Set the lid and valve and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow to release pressure manually.
For the pasta:
This is my favorite Instant Pot trick! Pasta!
Add curly pasta (if using long pasta like spaghetti or fettuccini, break in half).
Cover with water by 1 or 2 inches and season with salt.
Set the lid and valve and cook on high pressure for 1/3 of the stovetop time indicated on the package of pasta.
Note: Pasta that cooks in just a minute or two isn’t good to cook in the Instant Pot. Cook pasta that takes six minutes or longer.
Amanda Long is passionate about cooking and runs a Pressure Cooking Group on Facebook at modernpressurecookerrecipes.com, and you can find her recipes on thehomemadecook.com.