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Instant Pot: Lasagna Bolognese with Spinach

The winter weather has me craving hearty pasta dishes. With quite a few tomatoes on hand, it was apparent that it was time for me to make some homemade pasta sauce to freeze. I decided on a pasta dish involving a bolognese sauce because of the richness of flavors and texture it has. That lead me to this recipe from Gourmet which combines bolognese with layers of spinach and bechamel sauce. The original recipe makes a full 9x12 pan of lasagna but I halved the recipe and baked my lasagna in a springform pan. This prevents us from having lasagna for days on end and I like a thick & tall lasagna better than a wide & short one!

Lasagna Bolognese with Spinach
recipe adapted from Gourmet


For bolognese sauce: make in advance in your IP 
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
3 slices center cut bacon, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pounds ground pork
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cups 2% milk
3-4 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach,thawed

For Ricotta filling:
1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/3 cup 2% milk, divided

For assembling lasagne:
6 Barilla no-boil dried lasagne noodles (from 1 box)
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Make ricotta filling:
Wring spinach in a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and twist to squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Set aside.

Whisk together ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, nutmeg, milk and salt & pepper to taste. Add spinach and set aside until ready to assemble.


In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Add trivet to the pot with 1 1/2 cups of water.

Lightly grease a 7" or 6" springform pan with cooking spray, set aside.

Spread a couple tablespoons of bolognese sauce in springform pan and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan. 

Cover with 1-2 dry noodles, leaving space in between. 

Spread half of ricotta filling and top with spinach; then 1 cup bolognese sauce, and top with 1 tablespoon Parmesan and 1-2 noodles; repeat. 

Top with remaining bolognese sauce, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, and remaining 1-2 noodles. Pour reserved spinach ricotta mixture over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Cover with aluminum foil and place on trivet in Instant Pot with 1 1/2 cups water. Cook 20 mins on high pressure. Natural Pressure Release for 20 minutes.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 20 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 20 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 20 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 20 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

When the display reflects L00:20 (which is 20 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Preheat your broiler as you wait for the pin to drop and all pressure is released from the IP.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Remove lasagna from IP and uncover; top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. 



Broil in preheated oven until browned to your preference, Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.


Make Sauce: which you can make in advance! 
Heat oil in a 12-to 14-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. 

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press SAUTE and add oil. When it shimmers, add bacon, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened. 

Add pork and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any lumps, until meat is no longer pink. 

Stir in wine, milk, tomato paste, thyme, and salt & pepper to taste. 

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 10 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 10 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 10 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

When the display reflects L00:10 (which is 10 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Sauce is ready to use in the recipe or cool completely to store in freezer.