There is a lot of talk about home schooling these days and, like most parents, Amelda and I are not teachers so we won’t be sticking to the curriculum. We interpret it as time to teach life skills and either of these recipes are ones that the entire household could learn together.

I use a skillet pan for the one-pot vegetable pasta. You can use lots of different vegetables depending on what you have to hand. Sprouts and peppers are good and you could add some shredded chicken if you like. The chilli flakes give it a bit of a kick.

This red lentil and black bean chilli was one of my surprise highlights for 2020. It is in my Midweek Meals book and I just love it and have been going back to it again and again. It has great depth of flavour. It has become a firm family favourite and it keeps well. You will find a video of it on my Instagram. I like it garnished with a good dollop of Killowen Farm yoghurt from Wexford. To make it dairy free use a dollop of hummus instead

Thank you for all the nice comments about my Irish Seafood Trails on Wednesday nights on RTÉ One.

Happy cooking,


The award-winning Neven Maguire’s Midweek Meals is out now, published by Gill


One-pot vegetable pasta. \ Photography: Claire Nash. Food styling: Janine Kennedy

One-pot vegetable pasta

Serves four to six

600ml (1 pint) vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)

500g (1lb 2oz) fresh egg tortiglioni or rigatoni pasta

125g (4½oz) baby courgettes, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal

3 leeks, thinly sliced

200g (7oz) mixed baby peppers

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2-3 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

300g (11oz) baby plum tomatoes, quartered

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:

chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

toasted pine nuts

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 Put all the ingredients except the tomatoes in a large pan and season with salt. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 4-6 minutes. Give everything a good stir after a couple of minutes to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • 2 Fold in the tomatoes and season with pepper, then divide into wide-rimmed bowls and scatter over the parsley, pine nuts and Parmesan (if using).
  • Red lentil and black bean chilli with yoghurt

    Serves four to six

    1 × 290g (10¼oz) jar of roasted

    peppers in olive oil

    1 onion, finely chopped

    1 large carrot, finely chopped

    1 celery stick, finely chopped

    1 tbsp spicy pepper and herb seasoning

    1 heaped tbsp tomato purée

    1 tbsp harissa chilli paste

    1 × 400g (14oz) tin of Italian chopped tomatoes

    350ml (12fl oz) vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)

    225g (8oz) red lentils, well rinsed

    1 × 400g (14oz) tin of black beans, drained and rinsed

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    To garnish:

    lime wedges

    4-6 tbsp thick Greek yoghurt

    shredded little gem lettuce

    To serve:

    corn and wheat tortillas

  • 1 Drain the oil from the peppers and reserve, then finely chop the peppers. Put 2 tbsp of the oil in a large deep pan over a medium heat, then add all the vegetables, including the peppers, and sauté for 8-10 minutes, until softened and lightly golden.
  • 2 Sprinkle over the spicy pepper and herb seasoning and stir to combine, then stir in the tomato purée and harissa and cook for another minute.
  • 3 Stir the in the tomatoes and stock, then add the lentils. Give everything a good stir and cover with a lid.
  • 4 Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes, until the lentils and vegetables are completely tender.
  • 5 Stir in the black beans, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently, uncovered, for another 5 minutes.
  • 6 To serve, ladle the chilli onto plates and garnish with lime wedges, dollops of yoghurt and a mound of shredded lettuce. Serve the tortillas on the side.