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Back To School Family Dinners

Great family recipes from Neven Maguire and Dunnes Stores Simply Better

September can be a busy month so celebrity chef and Dunnes Stores Simply Better brand ambassador Neven Maguire has created a range of easy meals that are perfect for the whole family.

From a quick pasta bake with prawns and chorizo to a hearty meatballs and fresh pasta dish these simple recipes are sure to become dinner time regulars this autumn.


Serves 4

  • 125g Simply Better Italian Mozzarella Di Bufala Campana, torn into small pieces
  • 4 tbsp Simply Better Italian Made Basil Pesto with PDO Genovese Basil
  • 4 Simply Better Fresh Irish Corn Fed Chicken Breast Fillets
  • 8 Simply Better Italian Sun Dried Tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 pack of Simply Better Italian Prosciutto Di Parma or 1 pack of Simply Better Dry Cured Whiskey Smoked Irish Streaky Rashers
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • French green beans, to serve

For the rustic mixed potatoes

  • 450g rooster potatoes, scrubbed
  • 225g sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig, broken into tiny sprigs
  • Simply Better Organic Garlic & Herb Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Simply Better P.D.O. Terra Di Bari Bitonto Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas Mark 6). Mix together the mozzarella, pesto and sundried tomatoes. Lay two slices of Parma ham (or streaky rashers) on a wooden board, place a chicken breast on top and cut a slit into the side of each chicken breast and then stuff with the pesto covered cheese. Repeat this step for each chicken breast, then wrap each stuffed chicken breast with the Parma ham - not too tightly, but enough to hold the chicken together. Season with salt and pepper.
2. To make the rustic mixed potatoes, cut the potatoes and sweet potatoes into 5mm (1⁄4in) slices – a Japanese mandolin is perfect for doing this – and arrange in a single layer on a large roasting tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle over the oil, then sprinkle over the rosemary and garlic and herb seasoning and toss until evenly coated. Nestle the pesto-stuffed chicken breasts in the  potatoes and roast for 20 – 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the Parma ham is crispy. Remove the chicken from the oven and rest in a warm place for 5 minutes. Return the potatoes to the oven in that time for a final crisp-up.
3. To serve, arrange the pesto-stuffed chicken breasts on warmed serving plates with steamed French green beans and the rustic mixed potatoes.


Serves 4

  • 6 Simply Better Irish Pork Spring Onion & Black Pepper Sausages
  • 2 jars of Simply Better Italian Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 500g Simply Better Italian Fresh Egg Tortiglioni
  • 2 tbsp Simply Better Italian Made Basil Pesto with PDO Genovese Basil
  • 50g Simply Better Italian Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 1 tbsp Simply Better Cold Pressed Irish Rapeseed Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 100g baby spinach, washed
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped

1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 6-8 minutes until al dente (tender but still with a little bite). Squeeze the sausages from their skins and roughly break into 24 pieces, then roll into balls.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sausage meatballs and cook for 5 minutes, until golden, turning regularly to ensure they don’t burn. Once the sausages are cooked, drain the oil from the pan and return the sausages to the heat. Add the crushed garlic and the pasta sauce and heat for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the drained pasta to the pan with the sausages followed by the spinach and mix well to wilt the spinach and coat the pasta in the sauce. Divide between pasta bowls and drizzle each bowl with a little of the pesto before scattering over some of the chopped basil and Parmigiano Reggiano to serve.


Serves 4

  • 2 packs Simply Better Garlic & Herb Black Tiger Prawns
  • 1 jar of Simply Better Italian Grilled Peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 jar of Simply Better Italian Sun Dried Tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 150g Simply Better Spanish Chorizo Ibérico De Belotta, peeled and sliced
  • Simply Better Atlantic Sea Salt & Organic Herbs
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 500g long grain rice
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Lemon wedges, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas Mark 4). Drain the oil from the sun dried tomatoes and add one tablespoon of the oil to a casserole dish with a lid then place on the hob to heat.
2. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the chorizo, peppers and sundried tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring regularly until the chorizo has begun to release its oil.
3. Add the butter from the pack of prawns to the pan then add the rice, stirring well to ensure it’s coated in the melted butter and oil.
4. Pour the wine into the dish, stirring to combine, then add the stock and fold in the prawns and season with the Atlantic sea salt. Cover with the lid and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the prawns and rice are cooked through and tender. Scatter over the parsley and place on the table with the lemon wedges to serve.

Recipes by Neven Maguire 

Brought you in partnership with Dunnes Stores Simply Better