May 2021

Divya Gugnani's Instant Pot Spaghetti Bolognese


1 tbs olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion 
1 pound ground beef 
1 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp garlic powder 
24 oz jarred tomato sauce or homemade 
8 oz of spaghetti

Story + Rain's tomato sauce:
3 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
20 leaves of fresh basil
2 cans San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
1 tube of tomato paste


To make the tomato sauce add 3 tbs of olive oil to a sauce pan. Add chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic. Sauté for 5 more minutes. Add 1 tbs of tomato paste and mix into onions and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Chiffonade the basil and add to pan. Puree 2 cans of San Marzano tomatoes and add to pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Turn the instant pot on to sauté mode. Once heated, add the olive oil and onions. Sauté for one minute and add the beef. Break the beef up into large pieces with a wooden spoon and season with the salt and garlic powder. Cook, stirring and breaking the beef into smaller and smaller pieces, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of the water, then the sauce. Turn off the sauté function and add 1/2 cup of the water to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any stuck-on bits. Add the sauce and stir to combine well.

Break the spaghetti in half and layer in the pot. Break the spaghetti strands in half and spread them in one or two layers over the ground beef mixture. Resist your urge to stir because it will lead to gummy pasta. 

Add the remaining water but don’t stir. Rinse the pasta sauce jar with the remaining 1 1/2 cups water (pour the water into the jar, twist on the lid, and shake gently) and then pour the water over the pasta. Again, don’t stir!

Set the pressure cooker to HIGH for 7 minutes cook time. Close the pressure cooker. Set to cook on HIGH pressure for 7 minutes. The cooker should take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure. 

Use a quick release to release pressure and stir. Open the pressure release valve (quick release) as soon as the 7 minutes cook time is up. Open the pressure cooker and stir the spaghetti into the sauce. Turn off the pressure cooker. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese as a garnish.

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