Pasta with Easy Buttery Tomato Sauce
Picture pure simplicity: a buttery, garlicky tomato sauce (without meat or herbs), coating tender spaghetti. An easy meal on its own, it would also be a great side dish to a grilled steak for a retro, steak-house meal. Use canned whole tomatoes, not diced. What’s more, you must hand-crush them into the pot. Doing so keeps the somewhat larger pieces intact under pressure, giving the dish a better texture.
Servings Prep Time
4servings 5minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4servings 5minutes
Cook Time
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes packed in juice3 1/2 cups
  • 3cups vegetable broth
  • Up to 3 medium garlic clovesminced (1 tbsp)
  • 1tsp table salt
  • 1/2tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 stick butter6 tbsp
  • 12ox raw dried spaghetti (gluten- free if necessary) – broken as needed to fit in the pot
  • finely grated Parmigiano-Reggianofor garnishing
  1. Pour the tomatoes and their juice into the insert set in a 5-, 6-, or 8-quart Instant Pot. Use your clean hands to crush the tomatoes into smaller bits. Get in there! You know you want to!
  2. Press Sauté and set it for Medium/Normal or Custom 300°F and set the time for 10 minutes.
  3. As the pot heats, stir in the broth, garlic, salt, and nutmeg. Add the butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the entire mixture gets steamy, on the edge of simmering, about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and lay the broken spaghetti in a crosshatch pattern on the top of the sauce. Press down gently so some of the pasta is in the sauce but none of it touches the insert’s bottom. Lock the lid on the pot.
  5. MAX model: Set the pot for Pressure Cook on MAX pressure for 4 minutes.

    Other Instant Pot models: Set the pot for Pressure Cook/Manual on High pressure for 6 minutes.
  6. When the pot has finished cooking, use the quick-release method to bring the pressure back to normal. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Stir well, then set the lid askew over the pot and set aside for 2 to 3 minutes so the pasta continues to absorb some of the excess sauce. Serve warm, garnished with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Recipe Notes

Other Pots
• For a 3-quart Instant Pot, you must halve all of the ingredient amounts and you must break the dried spaghetti into even smaller pieces to fit in the pot.
• For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you can increase all of the ingredient amounts by 50 percent.
• For a 10-quart Instant Pot, you must increase all of the ingredient amounts by 50 percent and you can even double the amounts. You do not need to break dried spaghetti for the large pot.

• Garnish the servings with stemmed and finely chopped fresh basil leaves along with the cheese.
• And/or a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
• And/or a little aromatic olive oil, particularly a fine “finishing” olive oil used as a condiment rather than a cooking fat.