Italian Meat Sauce or Sunday Sauce, as it is often called, is one of those things that is better when cooked low and slow for hours. The beef and pork, renders its fat and becomes fork tender, it almost melds with the tomatoes and onions. I don’t know many people who spend hours making sauce these days, even traditional Italians have figured out ways to cut corners in the kitchen. Using an Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker, does wonders with meat sauce – in 45 minutes or less.
Meat sauce can be made with hunks of beef or pork, but sometimes it’s best just to start with ground meat, so it becomes softer faster. Using a good Italian sausage, like a Calabrese, pork sausage that has a good amount of spice and a touch of heat, adds so much flavor. Also, adding a quality ground beef – a 20/80 mix – gives sauce enough fat, without it tasting greasy and the combination, harmonious.
Whole San Marzano tomatoes do make a difference in a good sauce, but if you can’t find them – buy the best quality you can find. These type of tomatoes are naturally sweeter, giving the sauce a nicer balance of acid, heat and sweet – a perfect combination in any dish. The entire batch can be made without much actual physical cooking time, and when it’s done – you will notice the difference between this sauce, and something you tried to shorten the cooking time because you didn’t have enough time to let it simmer.
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Calabrese sausage, or other spicy Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 pound pasta or spaghetti squash
Parmesan cheese, for dusting
- Press Saute, and add 2 teaspoons olive oil to pot. Add onion and stir. Cook for 3 minutes and add garlic, stir. Add sausage and stir, while breaking apart with spoon. Cook for 4 minutes.
- Add beef and stir, while breaking apart with spoon. Add oregano, salt and pepper, stir to combine. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar, stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, hit Cancel.
- Place lid on top and seal. Cook sauce on High Pressure for 45 minutes. Release pressure and remove lid, stir. Ladle over pasta or toss together. Sprinkle each dish with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!