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A bowl of pasta, sauced with ragu Tucci, topped with a big beef short rib, with an Instant Pot, a glass of wine, and a bowl of red pepper flakes in the background.

Instant Pot Ragu Tucci

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  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups of sauce plus meat 1x


Instant Pot Ragù Tucci. Stanley Tucci’s family meat sauce, long-simmered tomatoes with beef and pork ribs, adapted to pressure cooking.


  • 2 pounds beef short ribs, bone-in, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 pounds pork country-style shoulder ribs (or pork western ribs)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 ounces tomato paste (half a 6-ounce can, about ⅓ cup)
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 cup water (or chicken broth)
  • 2 (28- to 35-ounce) cans San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes (or plum tomatoes), pureed or crushed by hand, with juices
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (If using Italian tomatoes - American canned tomatoes have extra sodium and don’t need more)
  • 3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Serve with

  • 1 pound pasta, cooked according to package directions (Rigatoni, Ziti, Penne, or another firm tube shaped pasta)


  1. Sear the beef and the pork on one side: Sprinkle the beef ribs and pork ribs with 1 teaspoon of salt. Heat the olive oil in an Instant Pot using Sauté mode adjusted to high (medium-high heat for other pressure cookers) until the oil starts to shimmer, about 3 minutes. Sear the meat, on one side, in two batches. (Don’t crowd the pot or the meat will steam, not brown). First, sear the beef ribs, meaty side down, until browned, about 4 minutes. Move the browned beef ribs to a bowl, then add the pork ribs to the pot, meaty side down. Sear the pork ribs until browned on the bottom, about 4 more minutes, and move them to the bowl with the beef ribs.
  2. Sauté the aromatics: Add the onion and garlic to the pot and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt. Sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes, occasionally scraping the bottom of the pot with a flat-edged wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits of meat or onion.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and deglaze with wine: Stir the tomato paste into the onions and cook, stirring and scraping often, until the paste starts to darken, about 5 minutes. Stir in the red wine, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 1 minute.
  4. Everything in the pot: Stir in the cup of water, then scrape the bottom of the pot one last time with a flat-edged wooden spoon to make sure nothing is sticking. Add the tomatoes, basil leaves and dried oregano, then add the meat and any meat juices in the bowl.
  5. Pressure Cook for 45 minutes with a Natural Release: Pressure cook on high pressure for 45 minutes in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker ("Manual" or "Pressure Cook" mode in an Instant Pot), or for 40 minutes in a stovetop pressure cooker. Let the pressure come down naturally for at least 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  6. Serve: Gently lift the ribs out of the pot with tongs and/or a slotted spoon, and set on a platter. (Be gentle - the ribs will be fall-apart tender.) Use about 4 cups of sauce from the pot to sauce a pound of pasta - preferably a firm tube-shaped pasta that will hold the sauce, like Rigatoni, Ziti, or Penne. Top the ribs with a ladle of sauce, and serve the ribs as a second course (for Italian style dining), or on the side with the pasta (for American family style) Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian