There are many nights that I am just so exhausted that I barely have the energy to throw together toast, let alone anything that vaguely resembles dinner. This is my go-to when guilt about my children’s consumption of nutrients starts to kick in and I need something quick and easy!

The variations with this dish are endless. Just whack in what you have – or what your children will actually eat and go for it!

Serves 4 (just double for more mouths!)

extra virgin olive oil

finely chopped garlic and onion (about 3 cloves of garlic, half an onion, depends on taste and children’s fussiness)

approx 2 cups of any chopped vegetable (we used asparagus and broccoli)

250 grams dried pasta

handful chopped parsley

 handful chopped basil

fresh lemon juice


a grating of Parmesan to serve

Cover the bottom of a fry pan with just enough olive oil to coat, heat gently over medium heat.

Add onion and garlic and sauté gently until just soft.

Stir in vegetables. Give a grinding of salt and pepper to taste.

Add the pasta and just enough boiling water to cover it. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally. You could throw a chicken stock cube in for extra flavour if you want to. Cook the pasta until al dente. The liquid will reduce to create a light sauce.

Add herbs, lemon juice and butter. Gently toss so pasta is evenly coated. Season to taste and add more lemon juice and butter if you wish. Grate Parmesan on top and serve.