JOIN! 12 Weeks for $1

Instant Pot

Orecchiette with Sardinian Sausage Ragu (Fast & Slow)

4-6 Servings

40 minutes 20 minutes active

Made This Recipe? Write a Review.
Thank you for submitting your review! A member of our team is confirming the review meets our site's Community Guidelines. It will be posted on the site shortly.

Saffron gives this simple Sardinian ragu lots of character. The spice’s unique, vaguely floral, slightly minerally flavor pairs beautifully with the sausage, tomatoes and salty pecorino. But since saffron can be expensive, we’ve kept it optional. Even without, the dish is delicious. Our favorite pasta for this recipe is orecchiette, a small saucer-shaped noodle that does an excellent job of catching the bits of sausage. Small shells work well, too, or any other small pasta that cooks in about 10 minutes (check the package for the recommended cooking time).




Don't use canned tomato sauce instead of tomato puree. The former contains seasonings such as salt and garlic powder; the latter is made only from tomatoes. Also, don't heat the oil before adding the garlic. Starting the garlic in cold oil slows the rate at which it cooks so it browns evenly without scorching.

40 minutes

20 minutes active



Pardon the interruption

You need to be a Milk Street Digital Member to see the full recipe


and get access to all of our recipes and articles online, as well as in print.

How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your subscription. We will use it for customer service as well as other communications from Milk Street. We will not share, or rent your email address.

Mary S.
August 17, 2023
Can you double this?
We love this! Easy, no mess and kid friendly. Hoping to make for a crowd. Can this be doubled?
Carolyn S.
October 31, 2022
End Result OK
Followed the recipe exactly as written. The end result was really watery. Felt that I has wasted the tomato puree because at the end I had to add more being that I had to strain the water / tomato mixture. I had to add more tomato sauce to give it the flavor it needed.
James B.
January 11, 2023
Excellent Weeknight Meal
This is one of my families go to weeknight meals. We make it exactly as described, other than doubling the garlic. Don't stir the pasta, and you shouldn't get a burn notice.
Deborah N.

You don’t brown the sausage at any stage? I just goes in raw and comes out tasting ok?

Janelle C.

Hi Deborah,

There is no need to brown the sausage and yes, everything will come out cooked and tasting great.

The Milk Street Team

David S.

This is fairly simple to make and is my favorite Milk Street recipe. My only tricky bit is to lift my sauce up and into my pasta pot without spilling it. I make this at least once a month. I started with purchased sausage, and it's perfectly fine that way, and still truly delicious. But I now make my own bulk sausage to make it just a bit more special. One warning is that it's the fresh basil that makes this dish really come alive. So, if someone substitutes with dried basil, I'm just a bit skeptical what the reaction to the dish would be, then.

My one tip would be to buy a bulk Italian sausage and not to have to worry about taking off the casings.

David S.

This was really easy to make, more or less. The Instant Pot kept insisting things were burning. However, where I think the flavor of the stovetop version was FANTASTIC, this one seemed weak to me, with regard to flavor. That plus the issues with the Instant Pot "burning" and I'm returning to the stovetop. It's not really a hard dish to make on the stovetop, either, and I just liked the results, a lot better.

Here in the pressure cooker, the sausage did cook, so that didn't seem to be a problem.