Not that I want to fetishize speed. No sense in that. It may be fun to see Jamie Oliver run around like a wet hen making a 15 minute chicken bolognese, just like it's entertaining to watch a fully grown man lock himself into a briefcase. Not to be tried at home, but otherwise, no harm. If I have three hours to let a bolognese sauce blip away, I do, and if I want a plate of pasta in 15 minutes, I make this, or this.
But sometimes I really need to get food on the table very fast. Enter the 5 minute wonder that is polenta with garlicky greens and a poached egg.
To tell you the truth, I most often allow myself ten minutes for this, but anyway, that's still fast.
Now put a 3 litre pressure cooker on the hob with a slick of oil and a couple of smashed garlic cloves. While they heat, wash a head of broccoli. Cut it up in big chunks, no finesse, but do peel the stalk and slice it in tickish rounds. This works with kale, spinach, spring greens, the usual.
Throw it into the cooker, salt it, and add as little water as you can get away with. My pressure cooker is a WMF Perfect that comes up to pressure with 100 ml. Lock, and set the timer for ONE minute.
Poach the egg/s, make the polenta. You'll be feeling like a one-man orchestra by this point so perhaps ask someone else to lay the table if you can.
When the timer goes for the broccoli you can either bring the pressure down immediately for tender florets. Or you can let it keep pressure, off the hob, for two minutes before bringing it down. This will give you that very soft, melting, khaki coloured broccoli beloved of Italians.
Without a pressure cooker the timings are different, but use this method.
By now the polenta will be ready, so spoon it onto a plate, top with the greens, add olive oil and lemon juice, and settle the drained egg on top. Parmesan and black pepper always welcome.
The good thing is that if the polenta is ready before anything else, you can let it sit and bring it back to texture with more hot water and a whisk. And the eggs can be made ahead. And the greens are lovely at room temperature. So it's a very accomodating meal, ready in five minutes, or ready when you are.