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tasted, mix in the cheeses, but­ter and pep­pers. The po­lenta will lighten in colour and be­come lovely and shiny. Sea­son with salt to taste and keep hot un­til ready to serve.

Place the prawns in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat them, add the crushed gar­lic and al­low to mar­i­nate while you get ev­ery­thing else ready. This dish cooks fast so have ev­ery­thing prepped and or­gan­ised be­fore cook­ing.

Heat a fry­ing pan over a medium heat with a slick of oil and fry the ba­con un­til it is start­ing to crisp and the fat has ren­dered. Re­move it from the pan with a slot­ted spoon and set aside.

In the same pan, melt the but­ter in the re­main­ing ba­con fat. Turn up the heat to high and add the prawns. You want to cook th­ese hard and fast. When they be­gin to turn opaque, re­turn the ba­con to the pan along with the spring onions, salt, pep­per and cayenne.

Check for sea­son­ing and give it a gen­er­ous squeeze of lemon juice be­fore serv­ing along­side the po­lenta. IZZI ERSK­INE is not into fast recipes, or ‘easy’ ones, for that mat­ter. Don’t ex­pect cor­ner-cut­ting tricks and 10-minute meals with this new recipe col­lec­tion.

In fact, she’s of the mind that, if you’re go­ing to eat a crab, you ought to know how to buy one fresh, crack it open prop­erly, and un­hook the creamy flesh your­self. It’s this style of cook­ing – in­vest­ing time, en­ergy, care, at­ten­tion – that is “how I gen­uinely get my thrills”, ex­plains the 39-year-old chef and TV pre­sen­ter.

So, if you’re al­ways in a hurry, the Lon­don-based food writer’s new cook­book, Slow, might not be on your ‘must-read’ list – al­though it ought to be.

Gizzi’s food is “tech­nique­based and in­gre­di­ents-led”, mean­ing Slow is laden with dishes that re­quire a lit­tle more ef­fort than hun­grily snatch­ing at the near­est avail­able sup­per.

“What I re­ally love to do is sit around a crock pot or a lovely roast – a dish that’s been in the oven for a re­ally long time,” she ex­plains. “Ev­ery­one sits to­gether, shoul­der-to-shoul­der, with glasses of wine, help­ing each other serve.”

Within the book, you’ll find a sticky ox­tail stew and salt-baked sea bass, Pol­ish go­labki (stuffed cab­bage leaves), pas­tries and cloud-like lemon pud­dings, as well as hand-pulled noo­dles and a rich lamb hot­pot.

It’s struc­tured around process, the aim al­ways be­ing to cook meat so lux­u­ri­antly that it falls from the bone with barely a nudge.

“Yes, it might take you an af­ter­noon to learn how to make fresh pasta or fresh noo­dles, or to make a proper stock, but what you get out of that is some­thing that tastes so much bet­ter and is so much bet­ter for you,” says an un­apolo­getic Gizzi.

Slow­ing things down, she notes, is a way to bet­ter be­come “at one” with your in­gre­di­ents, their her­itage, their prop­er­ties and culi­nary pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Es­sen­tially, she’s not go­ing to dumb-down cook­ing for you, but that doesn’t mean her food is out of reach: “I want peo­ple to be chal­lenged. Of­ten, we’re told we’re not ca­pa­ble when we are, we are all ca­pa­ble to do any­thing we want.”

Gizzi is in­ter­ested in the slow grow­ing of foods, too. Not in­ter­fer­ing in terms of an­tibi­otics be­ing given to en­hance an­i­mals, or pes­ti­cides be­ing ap­plied to crops, as well as the cook­ing of them – prove­nance and qual­ity of in­gre­di­ents, she says, is cru­cial.

“I want peo­ple to un­der­stand that to make the best food, you have to have the best in­gre­di­ents,” she notes.

But Slow isn’t de­signed to be “wor­thy” or to make you feel bad.

“I’m very, very aware of the im­pli­ca­tions of money on (bet­ter qual­ity) food,” Gizzi ad­mits, “but also, if we want to make a dif­fer­ence

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