Traditional Bolognese Sauce in Half The Time

pressure cooker bolognese sauce - the right way!

First the grapes, now Italians are trademarking all of their national dishes using DOC (Dominazione d’Origine Controllata).  You can find Pizza Napoletana doc and Steak alla Fiorentina doc “official” and Bolognese Sauce is no exception.   The traditional recipe for Bolognese sauce was deposited by Accademia Italiana della Cucina into the annals of  Blogna’s Chameber of Commerce, in 1982. The instructions are very clear that once all of the ingredients are cut, browned, and evaporated their recipe needs an additional two hours to simmer – a minimum of three hours total.

With a pressure cooker you can cut the simmering part of this recipe from two hours to less than 30 minutes!  The result is a tender, chunky, incredibly flavorful (and official) Bolognese sauce in half the time!  The trick to keeping this sauce thick in the pressure cooker, is to add a cup of water (the only addition to the original recipe)  in the middle of the cooking time.

Serve with egg tagliatelle, fettucine, or some other rich, robust pasta that can hold up to the meatiness and flavor of this sauce.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
4 L or larger none 8 & 7 min. High(2) Normal

Pressure Cooker Bolognese Ragu Pasta Sauce
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The quantities are for 16 oz or 500 grams of pasta or one large lasagna. You can easily double the recipe and freeze half for next time! Each evaporation step will take a little longer and the pan will need a bit more time to reach pressure.
  • 11 oz. (300g) Beef, ground
  • 4 oz. (100g) Pancetta, or unsmoked bacon, cubed
  • ½ cup (125ml) Red Wine, Sangiovese or other dry Red Wine
  • 1 cup (250ml) Beef Stock
  • 5 Tablespoons Tomato Paste Concentrate (double or triple concentration)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Cream for finishing
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. In the cold pressure cooker with no oil or butter, with the top off, sprinkle the pancetta in a flat layer and turn on to the lowest heat possible to render the fat.
  2. After the pancetta begins to sizzle (in about 5 minutes) add the onion, carrot and celery and raise the heat to medium-low and cook until well softened (about 10 minutes). If things begin to stick you can add a little swirl of olive oil.
  3. Raise the heat to medium and add the ground beef and brown well stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes or until all of the liquid from the meat is evaporated and the fat begins to sizzle).
  4. Add the wine and scrape the juicy bits stuck to the bottom and sides of the pan and evaporate it completely (about 7 minutes).
  5. In the meantime, mix the tomato paste with the beef stock and add salt, pepper. Pour the stock mixture into the cooker and stir well.
  6. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker and turn the heat to high. When the cooker reaches pressure, lower the flame to minimum heat and count 8 minutes cooking time at high pressure.
  7. Release pressure.
  8. Add one cup of hot water, stir the contents well and scrape any juicy bits from the bottom to incorporate.
  9. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker and turn the heat to high.When the pan reaches pressure again, lower the flame to minimum and count
  10. another 7 minutes cooking time under pressure.
  11. When time is up, release pressure
  12. Stir in the cream and serve!

Pressure Cooker Ragu Pasta or Lasagna SauceRelated Posts: