T.S. Eliot may have been talking about the locavore pantry when he famously wrote that April is the cruelest month. After all, as the daffodils bloom and the mannequins don spring prints, I’m in a panic for peas and fava beans.
But despite misleading “spring menus” all over town, seeds are only just going into the ground, and for real Greenmarketeers, the cupboard’s still pretty bare. Frankly the eating was better in frozen January when my potatoes and carrots were three months fresher.
But even before the radishes and scallions hit my cutting board, there’s one ingredient that makes April eating great: eggs. Everyone knows birds build nests in spring, but we somehow forget that includes chickens. When daylight gets longer, birds get busy laying—including chickens, but also geese, turkeys, and pheasants, to name a few whose eggs are available at Union Square right now.
It’s the perfect time to practice poaching or nail your golden-yolked barely-boiled technique. (Our publisher Brian keeps backyard ducks and let’s just say I’d be up for a breakfast meeting anytime.) But when it comes to eggs for dinner, my favorite incarnation is in noodle form. Fresh pasta sounds like an elaborate weekend project, but it comes together in a weeknight snap. About as fast as, well, a box of pasta.
Just throw together eggs and flour (all purpose works fine, but I especially love King Arthur’s pasta blend, as well as Bob’s Red Mill Semolina), let the dough rest for 30 minutes while you put a pot of water on and page through our latest issue, and you’re ready to roll. You can use a rolling pin or one of those old-school, hand-cranked devices that grip the counter, but after inheriting my mom’s KitchenAid (about as old as I am, and nearly as heavy) I splurged on pasta rolling attachments—best $75 I ever spent. You can also just cut shapes with a knife or, as my friend Eric recently taught me, regular cookie cutters.
Plus the fresh pasta cooks in just a minute or two—which is about how much longer I can wait until asparagus.