In a wide-ranging poem that involved, among other things, roasted cormorants and unruly horses, the Roman scribe Horace told readers to "seek for sauce by sweating".

The Asda worker recently busted for doing unspeakable things to frozen chickens probably took that a bit literally. But centuries later, the point stands that food tastes better when you've worked hard for it.

Not so for Nigel Slater, whose Simple Suppers (BBC1) sounded like a culinary ode to idleness.

"Cooking something delicious can lift the spirits as little else can," he ventured, "but only if it's easy to make." It all depends on your idea of easy the earlier 'Leftovers' episode presumably involved more than Nigel stumbling home drunk and dousing in ketchup the first dead thing to fall out of his fridge.

This time he was giving "new twists to timeless pairings" such as sausages and mustard. The twist? Add onions, herbs, pasta, a second type of mustard and litres of cream then cook for an hour or two. Simple.

"Why not put coriander into my carrot fritters?" he then asked, in a flourish of Obama-like rhetoric. Why not, indeed. What fools we've been, making our humble carrot fritters every day without a fistful of herbs organically grown in the gardens of our plush London homes. What could be easier?

Of course, with all cookery shows viewers should take the bits that suit them and bin the rest, like lips and hooves from a veal calf. From Floyd we learned to cook drunk; from Nigella, that innuendo about courgettes should be inserted into every marinade-able opening. And from Jamie, to install one of those 'sneeze screens' from Pizza Hut unless you want your Thauthage Thandwich drizzled in dribble.

So from Slater, despite the bewildering complexity of his suppers, perhaps we can learn to appreciate life's simple pleasures like watching our friends fail, or a toddler burst into tears because he dropped his ice cream.

Still, it's somehow hard to imagine Peregrine Worsthorne arguing that Michelangelo should have knocked up the Sistine Chapel ceiling with a roller on a Sunday afternoon and been on the sofa with a beer in time for Roma v Lazio.