Winter Pasta Sauce

There’s nothing like food that is good for the soul and that heats you up too. The last few weeks the weather has taken a sharp turn and it’s not been very pleasant. Sam on a few occasions has been caught in hail, cold winds and rain, so dinner times are welcome with open arms of hearty goodness.

I love pasta and love pasta sauce. This dish is a spin on the famous spaghetti bolognese loved by millions across this country and throughout the world. Packed with plenty of vitamins, veggies and flavour, I cooked this the night before and served the following evening after spending a good few hours cooking in the slow cooker. All the veggies used in this dish give a real autumnal glow too, which is a nice extra.

I cooked this the night before and slow cooked it the day after, but if you don’t have much time, this works cooking within the hour too, just gone down the wine content.

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 45 minutes

Marinading: 12-14 hours

Slow cooking: 8 hours on a low setting or 4 hours on a medium setting


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Dried oregano
  • Tomatoes paste
  • Lean beef mince
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 diced mushrooms
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 250g butternut squash (I’m using Tesco’s butternut squash stars)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 15ml red wine
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 150ml beef stock
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 jar basic tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. 1 tbsp olive oil in a deep pot with 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp oregano, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 500g lean beef mince and 2 tbsp soy sauce and stir.
  1. Add 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, a sprinkle of garlic granules and fry for a few minutes until the meat starts to brown.
  1. Add 1 diced onion, 5 diced mushrooms, 1 cup red pepper and yellow pepper and stir.
  1. Add 250g butternut squash, 15ml red wine, a beef stock cube and stir.
  1. After 5 minutes, add 150ml beef stock, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a jar of basic tomato sauce and bring to boil. Add salt and pepper to season.

If you’re adding to a slow cooker for day after, leave to marinade overnight, the results are well worth it. Slow cook for 8 hours on a low setting or 4 hours on a medium setting.

Serve with spaghetti and garlic bread.

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