Have you ever had to urgently feed a crowd of people? This happened recently when we were having a potluck and discovered that the majority of the guests had decided to bring cupcakes, cupcakes and more cupcakes. Of course, someone like kid#2 would have been in pure heaven to live on cupcakes alone but the hyperfunctioning hostess in me could not let this happen. Furthermore this would have resulted in me starving through dinner with only sweets on offer. So this super quick pasta sauce was whipped up within 30 minutes of dinner time, literally from bits and bobs available in my fridge. The sauce was split over regular pasta for the guests, and low carb pasta for me and hubs.
Recently one of my friends who completely doesn’t know how to cook, commented that the recipes I posted had too many ingredients in them. But truly, this was literally a quick whizz through the fridge and pantry to throw things together. There are just a couple of basic principles for making a good pasta sauce – starting with a mirepoix (onion, carrots and celery) as a base for the sauce – the caramelized vegetables add a natural sweetness and crunch to the sauce. The other thing I usually add is balsamic vinegar and red wine, mainly because the sugar in the balsamic vinegar balances the sour tartness of the tomatoes, and as to the red wine…well liquor is good with anything. 😁
This same base can be used with any kind of meat, like ground beef or chicken chunks; the options are endless. The beans were added to make the pasta more hearty; strictly this is a no-no for people doing a very low carb diet, but I find I can tolerate a couple of beans in my sauce without sugars spiking horribly. And it happened that I had honshimeiji mushrooms which are a lovely, delicate, quick-cooking mushroom in the fridge, which is a fun addition to any red pasta sauce. And if these were not available, any kind of mushroom would have done as well. Mushrooms are an awesome low carb ingredient!
So here is a quick solution when you have a horde of guests turning up at short notice to your door…the gang made quick work of it and I’m happy to say there were no leftovers!
Instant Pot Sausage and Bean Pasta Sauce
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 4 ribs of celery, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 3 chorizo sausages, sliced into inch-long pieces
- 5 slices of ham, sliced into thin strips
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 1 punnet of homshimeiji mushrooms, trimmed.
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried herbs (I used Provençal herb mix, but can be a combination of thyme and oregano)
- 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
- Put the Instant Pot on sauté mode and add the olive oil.
- Sauté the garlic, carrots, celery and onions till soft and caramelized.
- Add the sausages and ham and sauté briefly.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and sauté further tillmostly evaporated. Add the red wine, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, chicken stock, fish sauce, salt, pepper and herbs.
- Close the lid and put the valve into sealed position.
- Put on manual high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Do a quick pressure release and put on sauté mode. Add the honshimeiji mushrooms and stir through, cooking till slightly softened, about 1 minute.
- Serve with pasta. (The pasta can be pressure cooked as well but I had separated the cooking to serve with low carb pasta as well as regular pasta for my guests).