Instant Pot Bolognese Pasta recipe

Bolognese pasta cooked in an Instant Pot

This rich, comforting, hug-in-a-bowl pasta is adapted from Damn Delicious’s Instant Pot Ground Beef and Pasta recipe. To be honest you could just use that recipe but if you’re used to the metric system like I am and can't be bothered to convert ounces and cups then keep reading.

My take on this recipe is extra lazy as I use a bag of pre-chopped soffritto vegetables and garlic paste but these can be replaced with an onion and garlic cloves. Add a carrot and stick of celery if you have them but the dish is fine without. I’ve increased the amount of wine, added pancetta and mushrooms, replaced the marinara sauce with tinned tomatoes and I use rigatoni or casarecce pasta although pretty much any shape will work.

I read the Damn Delicious comments before attempting the recipe and saw that lots of people got a burn warning on their Instant Pot. I’ve made this dish multiple times and have only experienced this once; it was my fault because I replaced some of the stock with extra chopped tomatoes (big nope). Some Instant Pots seem more susceptible to the burn warning than others; I use a Duo Evo Plus, which according to the manual requires a minimum of 1.5 cups (375ml) of liquid but this recipe definitely needs 2 cups (500ml), regardless of how much tomato is used. A tip from the comments advises pushing the pasta underneath the sauce but not all the way to the bottom of the pot, which definitely helps to prevent the burn warning.

This is a flexible and forgiving recipe and I make it even if I’m missing ingredients such as mushrooms, pancetta, herbs or wine. I know I could make this recipe in about the same amount of time on the hob but I love how the Instant Pot cooks the pasta to al dente perfection in the sauce and everything’s fairly hands off once the sautéing is done. Less washing up too.

Notes

The wine doesn't count towards the amount of liquid as it's added early and mostly evaporates. Feel free to leave it out if you prefer.

I buy 400g tins of tomatoes so I end up with half a tin left over. If I know I'm not going to use it up within a few days I usually add it to the Instant Pot. The dish will be extra tomatoey and a little more liquid but I'm fine with that. I wouldn't decrease the stock as this is how I ended up with a burn warning.

Recipe credit

Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious: Instant Pot Ground Beef and Pasta

Ingredients

Serves: 4

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 400g pre-chopped soffritto vegetable mix (or 1 onion, 1 carrot and 1 stick of celery, finely diced)
  • 2 tsp garlic paste (pr 4 cloves, chopped)
  • 100g pancetta
  • 125ml red wine
  • 500g beef mince (I use 5% fat)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 600g chopped tomatoes (1½ tins)
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 250g dried pasta (any short shape; I like rigatoni or casarecce)
  • 200g button mushrooms
  • salt and black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (to finish, optional)
  • small handful of fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Method

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the Instant Pot’s inner pot and select ‘sauté’ for 10 minutes on ‘level 3’. If your chopped soffritto vegetables are frozen then set the timer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add 400g of chopped soffritto vegetables, 2 teaspoons of garlic paste and 100g of pancetta to the pot (I don't bother waiting for the pot to heat up before adding the ingredients). Once the pot has reached the correct temperature, sauté until 5 minutes remain on the timer, stirring constantly.
  3. Add 125ml of red wine to the pot, cook for 1 minute, then add 500g of beef mince and ½ a teaspoon of dried oregano. Stir to break up the mince and once the sauté function has finished and the mince has browned (it doesn’t need to have browned all the way through), add 600g of chopped tomatoes and 500ml of beef stock. Stir well.
  4. Tip 250g of dried pasta into the pot and push the majority of the pasta underneath the sauce but not all the way to the bottom of the pan. Add 200g of button mushrooms on top of the pasta (no need to stir) then put the lid on and select 'pressure cook', 'high' for 5 minutes (my Instant Pot takes about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before it starts to cook).
  5. Once the Instant Pot has finished pressure cooking, Quick Release the pressure, remove the lid and stir gently to avoid breaking up the pasta. Taste and season with salt and pepper (I use low sodium beef stock so I add roughly ½ teaspoon of salt). If possible, leave the pot to sit for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to soak up any excess liquid. Divide into deep bowls and top with a little grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.

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