Newsflash - Pumpkin Spice Lattes are here. That's right, autumn is coming and I'm feeling nostalgic.

Ignoring for a moment the fact we have just had a heat wave, autumn is on our doorstep and I bet you are feeling as nostalgic as me. We're all dreaming of an open fire, cup of hot chocolate, the warmest baggiest jumper you own and a book. Bring on the cold crisp mornings that mean I can wear my favourite hat and gloves, whilst the smell of last night's bonfire still lingers in the air. Just please, please don't let it be ruined it with rain!

This week I thought it was time to crack open an autumnal recipe. I will be avoiding pumpkin and soup as it's overdone and will instead be going down the route of a crowd pleaser. Everyone I have ever met loves spaghetti bolognese and if you don't, quite frankly, there might be something wrong with you.

When I was a child my mum used to make this when the weather started to turn and there was nothing like coming home from school, opening the door and immediately smelling the meaty aroma. I'm salivating now...

To make life even easier - I've done this recipe as a slow cooker version so you can put it on before you go to work and come home to a delicious ready made meal - entirely fresh and pretty darn healthy. What's not to love?


Slice one red onion and add to a frying pan with your mince. Do not add oil, too many people do this and end up with a greasy bolognese. The mince will naturally release its own water and as long as you continually stir whilst frying this will be perfect. The secret to an amazing bolognese is in letting the mince crisp up so you want to keep going until the edges turn slightly brown. Once complete transfer to the slow cooker.

Peel and chop two carrots, eight mushrooms and three stalks of celery. Put on top of the meat and onions and add a tablespoon of thyme, pepper to taste and a stock cube.

Turn your slow cooker to low and add a jar of passata, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a splash of red wine (optional) and approximately 50ml of water. Stir the mixture, put on the lid and leave for 6-8 hours.

Now your bolognese is ready; cook your pasta to taste. Whilst you are waiting for it to boil grate some dark chocolate and fresh chillies into a small bowl.

Once you have plated your pasta quickly stir through your chilli and chocolate mix and serve immediately.

Written by Sarah Ryland

All Image Credits: Sarah Ryland

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