Shrimp Pasta, Chicken Tagine, Noodle Soup and Mushroom Stroganoff

Shrimp Pasta, Chicken Tagine, Noodle Soup and Mushroom Stroganoff

It’s Saturday morning, and 2024 is two sleeps away. There are two ways to approach this last weekend of the year: party hearty, or quiet cozy. Either plan is excellent, and today’s newsletter is dedicated to meals that are perfectly suited for whichever type of New Year’s weekend you’d like.

First up is Lidey Heuck’s shrimp pasta, essentially the shrimp version of vongole rosso. Loads of garlic and olive oil — and a healthy splash of white wine — make even the tightest cherry tomatoes feel lush, and the lemon zest and chile flakes added at the end keep things bright and perky. With a bitter greens salad and the rest of the bottle of wine, it’s an excellent dinner for any night on the calendar.

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On the soupier side of things, Steven Pursley’s recipe for Okinawan soba, which Khushbu Shah adapted, doesn’t call for buckwheat noodles but instead the ramenlike wheat noodles popular in Okinawa. For Mr. Pursley, the chef and owner of Menya Rui in St. Louis, the dish is a New Year staple: a gentle dashi and pork-based broth swimming with springy noodles and slices of pleasantly squeaky fish cake.

Now for some skillet meals that feel equal parts fancy and cozy. Florence Fabricant’s five-star chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons is richly spiced, complex in flavor and quite beautiful and comes together in about an hour. Hetty Lui McKinnon — the vegetable genius behind “Tenderheart,” one of our favorite cookbooks of 2023 — created a mushroom stroganoff that captures all of the herby, winy and deeply savory flavors of the beef version.

And then there’s Marry Me Chicken, which nestles chicken breasts or cutlets in a creamy sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan for added umami oomph. (If all of those holiday movies are any indication, the end of the year is a big time for proposals.)

Whatever your end-of-year vibes, you deserve something sweet. More specifically, you deserve Genevieve Ko’s chocolate mousse, which is somehow both airy and dense, light and rich, silky and fudgy. Because the mousse develops an even deeper flavor over time you can make it up to five days ahead and serve it straight from the fridge, Genevieve notes. A dish that gets only better with age? That’s an excellent way to greet a new year.