Instant Pot Spaghetti Bolognese

 Kelli Foster   2019-11-17  Comments General, Kid Friendly, Meat, Rice & Pastas
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This Spaghetti Bolognese is a family favourite and a one pot meal for when you’ve walked in the door after 5:30pm and have to face preparing dinner for the whole family! 
 
This recipe is inspired by The Kitchn, cooking inspiration website, trusted by thousands of foodies across the globe.  This is their recipe developed and tested by Kelli Foster: 
 
“I first made this recipe about two months ago, and even now when I think about it, the most warm, satisfying feeling ripples through my belly. It was hands-down the best thing I cooked in 2018 (and I cook a lot), and has been the only way I’ve cooked spaghetti since.” 
 
 

Prep Time:
10 mins                                                             
Cook Time:
20 mins
Serves:
4


Ingredients 
(stick to the exact amounts) 
 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 450g ground beef  
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 2 cups water, divided 
  • 1 Litre marinara or any tomato-based pasta sauce 
  • 225g dry spaghetti
  • Grated Parmesan cheese & fresh basil,  for serving 

 
Turn the Instant Pot on to SAUTE function. Once heated, add the olive oil and beef. Break the ground beef up into large pieces with a wooden spoon and season with the salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook, stirring and breaking the beef into smaller and smaller pieces, until cooked through and no longer pink (about 5 minutes). 
 
Turn off the SAUTE function and add 1/2 cup of the water to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot very carefully to remove any stuck-on bits. Add the sauce and stir well to combine. 
 
Break the spaghetti in half and spread them in one or two layers over the ground beef mixture. Do not stir from this point on. 
 
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. Remember — no stirring here. 
 
Secure the lid, set the vent to sealing. Set to PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 8 minutes cook time.   It takes between 10 and 12 minutes to come up to pressure.   
 
Once the cook time is complete, do a manual QUICK PRESSURE RELEASE to release the pressure quickly.  
 
Open the Instant Pot and stir the everything together gently.  Serve immediately with a flurry of grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.  
 
Tips 
 
Always scrape the bottom of the pot after browning the meat. The goal here is to avoid getting a BURN warning from your pot, so you’ll want to brown the meat, add a little water to the pot, and scrape, scrape, scrape before you add the pasta sauce. 
 
Layer the water under and over the pasta. To cook the pasta evenly, you’ll want to make sure there is water (or, in our case, sauce) both under the pasta and over it. I like to “rinse” my sauce jar with water and then pour it over the pasta to avoid waste, but feel free to skip this if you’re using homemade sauce. 
 
Resist the urge to stir after the pasta is added. As soon as you’ve got the pasta in the pot and the water over it, put the lid on. You can give the pasta a gentle prod, but do not stir, which will give you gummy, stuck-together pasta. 

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