My family loves pasta. My youngest son doesn’t like “things” in the sauce. By “things” I mean all the flavorful additions that a good tomato sauce needs, like onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and herbs. He doesn’t want bits of onions or herbs, he wants it to be smooth and red, and God forbid there should be a chunk of tomato! I could argue with him about it, but I know that as he gets older his tastes will change, as almost everyone’s taste does. In the meantime I pack all the veggies into my sauce that I want by pureeing them in my smoothie maker! Mom: 1, Kid: 0. In your face Kid!
In the summertime I try to set aside a few days to prep a large quantity of freezer meals to get us though the fall and winter. I aim for one meal a week that I don’t need to cook- just throw something in the oven or the slow cooker. It really helps on those days with late football practices, or after-school meetings. Now that it’s January, my freezer meal stockpile is rapidly dwindling! In an effort to restock- I give you Instant Pot Turkey Bolognese. You can do this on the stove in about two hours, or in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. This recipe makes enough for three meals for a family of four (Just serve it over cooked pasta. Did you notice I didn’t say zoodles? That’s because they are yucky). I’ll store one in the fridge for this week and the other two can go into the freezer for later!
- 3 large carrots
- 3 large stalks of celery
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 lbs. ground turkey (or beef, pork, or chicken)
- 3, 15 oz. cans of plain tomato sauce- I like Hunts Sauce because it’s not sweet.
- 2 t. Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1 t. red pepper flakes
- 2 t. dried oregano
If your family doesn’t mind the “things” in the sauce then you can just dice up the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic, and throw them into the Instant Pot. Otherwise, cut the carrots, celery, and onion into chunks, the garlic cloves can go in to whole, and puree them all until smooth in a blender with a splash of water to get things moving. I don’t have a fancy blender, I have a Ninja. One awesome feature that I use almost daily is the smoothie cup. Somehow the smoothie cup gets things way smoother than the regular blender pitcher. To quote my 5th grade students: IDKY. When I use it for this though, I need to puree the veggies in two batches since the cup is smaller than the blender pitcher.
Add the ground meat to the Instant Pot along with the pureed veggies, the cans of sauce, the salt and pepper, and the herbs. Stir to combine and lock the lid. Don’t forget to close the vent. I cooked this on high pressure for 35 minutes. Once it’s cooled it can be ladled into storage containers. This sauce will keep in the fridge for about three days and in the freezer for about three months. Just reheat it in the microwave, or gently on the stove top, and serve it over cooked pasta or creamy polenta.