12 steps to heaven with spaghetti: pressure cooker

a recipe by
Heather Sawyer
Charlotte, NC

I cannot emphasize enough how much you should try this recipe if you love spaghetti. It’s simple to make. You cut up 3 vegetables. Brown the grown beef. Saute the veggies. Dump in the secret ingredients that make the magic sauce and less than one hour later, your family will go nuts for this at dinner tonight and for years to come. My mom, Deborah, doesn’t know I am sharing her recipe. She is also on this site. Im probably gonna get in trouble. =) She has only been willing to publish her pound cake. Which is absolutely to die for. Enjoy both! Let me know what you think!

serves 6-8
prep time 30 Min
cook time 20 Min
method Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

Ingredients For 12 steps to heaven with spaghetti: pressure cooker

  • 2 lb
    ground beef (we prefer 93%)
  • 1, 3 tsp
    salt, divided (to season meat, then to season sauce)
  • 0.5, 1.5 tsp
    black pepper, divided (to season meat, then to season sauce)
  • 2 lg
    bright colored bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange - not green)
  • 1 lg
    vidalia onion
  • 16 oz
    fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 2, 2 Tbsp
    olive oil, divided (to brown meat, to sauté the vegetables)
  • 2 can
    approx. 28 oz. petite diced tomatoes (we prefer dei fratelli, hunt’s or muir glen)
  • 1 can
    approx. 28 oz. crushed tomatoes (we prefer dei fratelli, hunt’s or muir glen)
  • 1 can
    approx. 28 oz of water (use one of empty tomato cans)
  • 1 bottle
    32 oz. ketchup (we prefer heinz)
  • 1 lb
    your favorite spaghetti noodles
  • SEASONING
  • 3 Tbsp
    italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    minced garlic or 4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp
    dried rosemary or 1/4 cup fresh (we prefer fresh)
  • 1 tsp
    dried thyme or 1/4 cup fresh (we prefer fresh)
  • 1 tsp
    dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh (we prefer fresh)
  • 2
    bay leaves -optional
  • TOPPINGS
  • 4 oz
    grated parmesan (optional)

How To Make 12 steps to heaven with spaghetti: pressure cooker

  • 1
    Open ground beef packaging, but before putting in Pressure Cooker, lightly season with half of first divided salt amount. So 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper on the top side of the ground beef.
  • 2
    Turn Pressure Cooker to “Sauté” on “Normal” (Medium) level. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into inner pot. When your PC indicates it is heated up, then place that side of the ground beef that has the salt and pepper on it facing down in hot inner pot with hot olive oil. But wait, do not begin breaking it apart or stirring it just yet.
  • 3
    Then lighly season the other side of the ground beef with the remainder of the divided portions of salt and pepper listed in the ingredient list first of two for salt and pepper which should be about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
  • 4
    Now begin to break apart and stir ground beef to cook evenly to brown to point where no more pink shows.
  • 5
    Drain all grease. Deglaze inner pot! Very important.
  • 6
    Place drained beef aside in large bowl. I assure you will get requests for re-makes and shares amongst friends and family will be inevitable. It will be the best spaghetti you have ever had.
  • 7
    Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, diced bell peppers, diced onion, fresh mushrooms, and fresh garlic cloves now (if you are doing fresh instead of minced) into inner pot and Sauté on Normal (medium) level for 4-5 minutes until vegetables are caramelized, but not burned.
  • 8
    Then dump in all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil using “Sauté” on “Normal” (Medium) level, stirring frequently so as not to burn. Very important. I have never had a problem stirring instead of layering in the Instant Pot.
  • 9
    Then “Pressure Cook” the sauce for 20 minute or longer. The longer, the better. But 20 minutes is all you really must do. I have done 60 minutes before and it really steps up the flavor to seem as though it’s been cooking all day. Then do a “Quick Release” with a towel 2 inches above the vent. Nothing but steam should come out.
  • 10
    Remove sauce from Instant Pot inner pot. Rinse it out. Place spaghetti noodles in now empty pot. Fill water to where it just covers dry noodles. Set to “Pressure Cook” for half the time on the noodle package. Perform a Quick Release”, then strain hot water from the noodles immediately so your noodles don’t cook any longer sitting in the hot water!
  • 11
    Serve, Eat and Enjoy! Share the food (and the recipe)! Add a little grated parmesan to each serving if desired.
  • 12
    Write me how you liked it or any enhancements you thought of!
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