Category Archives: Sauces

Instant Pot Italian Meat Sauce

instant pot italian meat sauce

My recipe for Italian Meat Sauce in the Instant Pot will be a game changer for meal planning. Luckily, my mom and I are both obsessed with our Instant Pot, and when I was visiting over the holidays, we made some amazing pasta sauce, in a crazy short amount of time. There are short ribs, carrots, onions, Italian sausage, and other delicious spices that made this a hit with the whole family. Pour it over spaghetti squash or zoodles to make it paleo, or freeze it for later. I definitely plan on making this regularly, since most restaurants have dairy in their Italian food, and dairy is the one thing I’m still very careful to avoid in my diet. Although I’ve relaxed my standards this past year, the new year is a great time to get back to my favorite paleo foods, and work on eating healthier, exercising more, and stepping up my meal planning game.

Instant Pot Italian Meat Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 lb pork spare ribs
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cans (28oz) tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp or ice cube of red wine
  • 1 pkg sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a couple grinds of fresh ground black pepper
  1. In a large pan, sear short ribs and Italian sausage in olive oil, 2-3 minutes per side, then add to instant pot.
  2. Then, in a large pan, cook ground beef, ground pork, chopped carrots and onions, until meat is no longer pink.
  3. Add cooked ground beef, pork, carrots, and onions to the instant pot, with honey, tomato paste, tomato puree, chopped rosemary, thyme, dried basil, and red wine.
  4. Then, add to instant pot some sea salt to taste approximately 1 tsp and add a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper.
  5. Close lid of the instant pot and make sure pressured release valve is sealed. Cook on high pressure manual for 60 minutes, then let it release naturally.

Nonni’s Sauce

Nonni's Meat Sauce

This was my attempt at making Nonni’s meat sauce, which I grew up eating with her pasta and meatballs. I have a paleo version of her meatballs posted, and I add a few of them to the sauce for flavor. She also adds 1/2 cup of grated parmesean or romano cheese, but I opted to make this dairy free, and I was still happy with the results.

The sauce cooked down and really concentrated the tomato flavor, so you could skip the tomato paste, or water it down with water, stock, or wine. However, the concentrated flavor actually ended up being a good thing, since zoodles give off water when cooked. So, when I sauteed Non’s sauce and zoodles together the result was perfect.

Nonni's Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 2 country style pork ribs
  • 3 sweet Italian sausages
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 3-5 homemade paleo meatballs
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2 cans of tomato puree
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • chopped parsley (garnish)
  • parsley (a handful including stem)
  • ½ tsp sea salt or to taste
  • a few grinds of fresh ground pepper or to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup of water
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, saute chopped onions in olive oil for a few minutes on medium low heat.
  2. Then, add to pot minced garlic and stir for a few minutes.
  3. Add in country style ribs and sweet italian sausage and brown sides slightly, when finished browning turn heat to low.
  4. Then add two cans of tomato puree.
  5. Add ¼ cup of water to each can of empty tomato puree, swish it around, to get out all tomato puree and add it to the pot.
  6. Add tomato paste, honey, and a handful of parsley with stem and leaves to pot. Parsley will be fished out later.
  7. Cook on low for 1.5 hours minimum. The longer you cook it the thicker the sauce will get. 2 hours of cooking time is ideal.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste while cooking.
  9. When finished, turn off heat and let it come to room temperature before storing it.
  10. Before serving it, fish out parsley.



Nonni’s Bolognese Sauce

Nonni's Bolognese Sauce - Healing and Eating

Nonni’s Bolognese Sauce is dairy free and paleo friendly if you eat it with some spaghetti squash or zoodles. It was surprisingly easy to make, but the end result was fabulous. I will definitely be repeating this recipe. This recipe does call for a cup of red wine, but if your diet doesn’t include alcohol, you can easily omit it and it will still taste great.

If you make a ton of this, it has a similar thickness to chili, and should freeze just as easily. Not that you are likely to have leftovers, my whole family was going for seconds.

Nonni's Bolognese Sauce
Prep time
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Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup of finely diced celery
  • 1 cup of finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup of finely diced red onion
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb of sweet Italian pork sausage
  • 1 cup of red wine (Cabernet or Chianti)
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • stir in one whole sprig of fresh rosemary
  • sea salt to taste (1/4 -1/2 tsp)
  • (optional) flat leaf parsley to garnish
  1. Finely dice celery, carrots, and red onion.
  2. In a large pan, simmer veggies in olive oil until soft on low heat.
  3. Remove sausage casing if necessary and when vegggies are soft add meat to pan, and mix and break down ground meat until it all turns brown (becomes cooked). Use medium to medium high heat.
  4. Add red wine and turn heat to high until alcohol is evaporated.
  5. After it has evaporated, add tomato paste and sea salt to taste.
  6. Stir in a fresh sprig of rosemary and turn heat to low to let flavors develop for at least ten minutes.
  7. Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash, and/or zoodles and enjoy.




Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce - Healing and Eating

The marinara sauce is really simple and quick to make, as well as vegan friendly. It would also taste great on pizza. Make this sauce ahead and freeze, or jazz it up a bit with some Italian sausage and spinach, and throw it over zoodles, for an easy weeknight paleo dinner. I normally buy organic marinara all the time, because I’m really lazy, but this recipe was so easy, I doubt I will again. It only took a half hour to make, and I’m thrilled with the results.

Marinara Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 2 28oz can of peeled tomatoe
  • 4 minced cloves of garlic
  • ½ half of yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • two grinds of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Add peeled tomatoes to a blender to puree. Skip this step if you bought pureed tomatoes.
  2. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, add finely chopped onion. Saute until soft for 2-5 minutes, then add garlic and chopped fresh basil.
  3. Saute until it smells delicious for about another minute.
  4. Then add pureed tomatoes, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and one bay leaf.
  5. Bring to a simmer, and let sit simmering for 30 minutes, with the lid covering most of the top, leave lid a little to the side to let the steam escape.