I used to have competitions with friends and family to get a meal on the table the fastest. There had to be cooking involved. Two minute noodles and similar did not qualify.
For one of these cooking races I served up pasta carbonara in just under four minutes.
Here's how I broke the Four Minute Meal.
Fill the kettle and put it on. Elapsed time, ten seconds.
While the kettle came to the boil - one and a half minutes - I took two rashers of bacon, two eggs, a pack of parmesan and some parsley from the fridge and a pack of gnocchi, a bottle of olive oil and a garlic clove from the cupboard. Elapsed time, forty-five seconds.
I opened the gnocchi. Elapsed time, forty-nine seconds.
I sliced the bacon into small pieces and threw them into a pan with a splash of olive oil, and lit the stove. One minute twenty.
I chopped the parsley. One minute thirty. The light in the kettle went off and the button clicked up. I poured the boiling water into another pot on the stove over a high heat and tipped gnocchi into the pot - carefully. If you burn yourself you're disqualified.
I grabbed a plate and some cutlery out of the cupboard and set them on the table. One minute forty-five.
The bacon was done by the time the gnocchi floated to the top of the water. Two minutes thirty.
I drained the gnocchi and tossed it into the bacon pan and stirred it around. Two minutes fifty. I cracked the eggs in and stirred around again, adding the parmesan. Three minutes twenty.
Gnocchi carbonara into the bowl, parsley on top, more parmesan. Three minutes forty-five. World record.