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Primavera Deserves Fresh Pasta – The New York Times



Good morning. I’m telling you to make your own pasta this weekend and I understand that, for some, the command will lead to rolled eyes, to sighs and protestations. Fresh pasta seems like such a pain.

But it isn’t. Melissa Clark’s recipe, which combines flour, eggs, egg yolks and a little olive oil into a springy, rich, fantastic dough that you can roll out by hand and knife into ribbons, is dead simple to make. It’s an hour’s work at most and delivers incredible returns when you use it for her pasta primavera with asparagus and peas (above). The soft chewiness of the ribbons against the not-quite crispness of the gently cooked vegetables? Perfection.

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You’ll need some resting time for the dough. There’s no instant satisfaction in the fresh pasta game. So plan accordingly: a morning at the market getting your vegetables, followed by lunch (egg salad sandwiches!), the initial kneading of the dough, a little nap, the rolling and cutting of the pasta, some time outside doing something springlike and enjoyable, and then the preparation and consumption of dinner, in advance of a screening of, say, “Road House” on Amazon Prime. Weekends are awesome.

It’s so great to have asparagus back. I love it in Melissa’s pasta, and in Yotam Ottolenghi’s grilled asparagus with miso and olives as well. Susan Spungen has a great recipe for sheet-pan pizza with asparagus and arugula. Kay Chun stir-fries asparagus with tofu and loads of black pepper.

For myself, I roast the stalks in a hot oven and then drizzle them with hollandaise sauce to serve alongside crab cakes. (Does hollandaise give you trouble? Pour some boiling water into the bowl of your blender and let it sit for a few minutes before pouring it off, drying it thoroughly and adding your yolks, lemon juice and drizzled butter. That warmed glass does the trick. I haven’t had a broken sauce since!) That’s a weekend dinner to repeat and repeat, especially if you make extra crab cakes to freeze for later use.

Other things to cook this weekend: roasted salmon with peas and radishes; baked risotto with greens and peas; creamy chicken with spring vegetables.

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Now, it has very little to do with food except that the protagonist keeps bees and has an excellent kitchen, but I enjoyed “Beckham,” Fisher Stevens’s documentary series about the star footballer David Beckham, even if the production was produced, in part, by Beckham’s own company and may have glossed over some of his story.

Here’s Lauren Collins, in The New Yorker, on France’s hottest restaurant at the moment, Les Grands Buffets, an all-you-can-eat buffet in Narbonne, southeast of Touluse.

Sadie Stein wrote about Tana French’s new novel, “The Hunter,” for The New York Times last month. I’m eager to read it but started this week with the book’s precursor, “The Searcher,” from 2021. You might do the same.

Finally, today is the birthday of the outsider artist Henry Darger, who died in 1973. The website of the Museum of Modern Art features more than a dozen of his works, and they’re worth considering while your pasta dough rests. I’ll see you on Sunday.

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