Here’s an Instant Pot ragu recipe that, stand-alone, is Paleo and Whole30 compliant *and* is super filling, savory, and big on flavor. You can make this Instant Pot pasta sauce with tagliatelle, rigatoni, or zoodles, and it would be a delicious dinner. Cooking this short rib ragu in the Instant Pot majorly cuts down on the cooking time -- your dinner will be ready in no time.
the inspiration behind this instant pot ragu pasta sauce
I've been searching and fiddling for the perfect ragu/bolognese sauce for some time - and I think this is it. This Instant Pot ragu is the pasta sauce of your dreams. Perfect with tagliatelle or zoodles or rigatoni -- whatever pasta/noodle/sauce vessel you like -- this is a super yummy dinner. I love a classic, meaty pasta sauce - I had this amazing bolognese at Baci e Abbracci in Williamsburg a few months ago that I still dream about.
how to make bolognese in an instant pot
What you're gonna do is leverage both the sautee and pressure cook features on the Instant Pot. First, you'll brown the short ribs + sautee a mirepoix in the Instant Pot, then you'll deglaze with some red wine. Later, add in the tomatoes and pressure cook it all together.
Shredding the meat after it's all cooked is the easiest thing. The short rib was cooked to perfection, and it's just about falling off the bone. It's so tender and savory. OMG.
I haven't yet found a way to literally cook pasta in the instant pot, so you'll have to do that the old fashioned way on the stove, but this Instant Pot pasta sauce is a huge time saver. I almost just want to eat it plain without any noodles at all, it's that good.
frequently asked questions
Do I have to use short rib?
- No, but I love how buttery soft this cut of meat is. You could use chuck or brisket, too.
What about using a premade pasta sauce instead of canned tomatoes?
- Go for it - that's just a shortcut - feel free to use a 24 oz can of crushed tomatoes, and then add in some extra spices like a teaspoon of oregano, a teaspoon of dried basil, and a teaspoon of kosher salt.
Instant Pot Ragu Pasta Sauce
- 2 lbs bone-in short ribs or 1 lb boneless
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 2 carrots finely diced
- 2 stalks of celery finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- ¼ cup red wine
- 24 oz jar can of Marzano tomatoes crushed
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- If you have a day's foresight into making this dish, salt your short ribs with kosher salt all over and set in the fridge to marinate/be all salted for a good 24 hours.
- If not, that's okay. Start out by trimming any excess fat from the short ribs, then pat dry with a paper towel. Generously season the meat with salt and pepper.
- Turn on your IP to saute mode. Add oil and wait for it to get shimmery. Add the short ribs to the hot oil and sear on all sides until brown. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Add mirepoix in, and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Pour wine in to deglaze and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add back in the short ribs and the tomato sauce; stir to combine. Use ½ cup water to rinse out can and add to pot. Set Instant Pot to the stew/meat setting and cook for 35 mins. When it’s done, let it sit untouched for a natural steam release.
- Remove meat - Shred into bite-size pieces, removing bones and any large pieces of fat. Meanwhile, set the Instant Pot to sauté again to reduce/thicken the sauce. Skim any fat off the top of sauce and add meat back in. Taste and add salt & pepper if needed.
- Serve with tagliatelle or any kind of pasta you want!