One of the best presents I’ve ever received was a series of Italian cooking classes. You know, the kind where it’s a bunch of strangers with a local chef who walks you through preparing a bunch of dishes while you’re all drinking wine. It was a blast and I still use those recipes to this day. This is based off of one of those. I didn’t make too many changes, just add a few additional ingredients and updated it for my Instant Pot. So instead of simmering for 2 or more hours, it’s ready is about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Meat Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 28oz can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 4-5 minced garlic cloves (or more if you like garlic)
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lbs chuck beef
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (Italian is best)
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 Tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pinch of sugar


In a heavy pot (like a Le Creuset Dutch oven) or in an Instant Pot set to sauté, heat the olive oil and brown the chuck; about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Add in the onion and minced garlic, sauté for about a minute or until fragrant. Add the chuck back in and the rest of the ingredients. If using a heavy pot, bring to a boil and simmer; about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart. If using an Instant pot, set the pressure cooker for 45 minutes with the valve closed.

Serve over your favorite pasta.


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