Shrimp pasta, chicken casserole, noodle soup and mushroom stroganoff

Shrimp pasta, chicken casserole, noodle soup and mushroom stroganoff

It’s Saturday morning, and we’re two hours away from 2024. There are two ways to approach the last weekend of the year: wild celebration or relaxed calm. Both plans are excellent, and today’s newsletter is dedicated to meals that are just right for any kind of New Year’s weekend you want.

First up is Lidey Heuck’s shrimp pasta, which is basically a shrimp version of vongole rosso. Loads of garlic and olive oil—and a healthy splash of white wine—make even the most compact cherry tomatoes look lush, and the lemon zest and chili flakes added at the end keep things bright and fun. With a bitter green salad and the rest of a bottle of wine, it’s an excellent dinner for any night on the calendar.

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On the soupier side of things, Stephen Pursley’s recipe for Okinawa soba, which Khushbu Shah adapted, does not call for buckwheat noodles, but instead wheat noodles similar to the ramen popular in Okinawa. For Mr. Pursley, the chef and owner of Minya Roy in St. Louis, the dish is a New Year’s staple: a gentle, buttery dashi broth made from pork with spring noodles and slices of delicious fish cake.

Now for some skillet meals that look great and are equal parts comforting. Florence Fabricante’s Five-Star Chicken Casserole with Olives and Preserved Lemon is richly spiced, complex in flavor, so beautiful, and comes together in about an hour. Hetty Lowe MacKinnon — the vegetable genius behind “Tenderheart,” one of our favorite cookbooks of 2023 — created a mushroom stroganoff that captures all the herby, russet, and deeply savory flavors of the beef version.

Then there’s Marry Me Chicken, which cradles chicken breasts or chicken cutlets in a creamy sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan to add umami appeal. (If all these holiday movies are any indication, the end of the year is a good time to make offers.)

No matter what your end-of-year vibe is, you deserve something sweet. More specifically, you deserve Genevieve Ko’s chocolate mousse, which is somehow airy and dense, light and rich, silky and dark. Because mousse develops a deeper flavor over time, you can make it five days ahead and serve it straight from the refrigerator, notes Genevieve. A dish that only gets better with age? This is an excellent way to welcome the new year.

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