We knew it's easy to get stressed out trying to figure out what to do and eat and drink on New Year's Eve (the pressure to have a spectacularly great time is enormous). So check in with Serious Eats throughout the day. We're gonna have a bunch of stress-busting New Year's Eve posts. Stick with Serious Eats. We'll get you through.
Let's start with a terrific Mario Batali recipe perfect for a New Year's Eve gathering. Mario calls for making fresh pasta for this dish, which is taken from the very useful Holiday Food (let's face it, we celebrate a lot of holidays), but I have made it with a wide, dried pasta, and it's just as good. This pasta with rock shrimp and zuccchini would become a festive addition to a New Year's Eve buffet. In fact, sometimes we do sort of a pot luck New Year's Eve buffet where everyone brings a dish or two. If you bring this pasta dish, or the Pasta with Walnuts (which is particularly suitable for a buffet because it can be eaten either hot or at room temperature), your hosts would be very happy indeed.
Scialatielli ai Scialatielli (Flat Pasta with Rock Shrimp and Zucchini)
- 2 bunches basil
- 4 cups cake flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
- 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 pound rock shrimp or medium shrimp, peeled
- 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a pot of water to a boil and fill a bowl with ice cubes and water. Blanch the basil in the boiling water for 10 seconds, then refresh in the ice water. Drain and chop finely; you should have 1/4 cup. Make a mound of the flour, then make a well in the center. Crack the eggs into the well, pour the milk over, and add the basil. Using a fork, stir the egg mixture slowly into the flour to form a wet dough. Add the grated cheese and, working now with your hands, bring the dough together and knead 8 to 10 minutes to form a smooth dough. Allow to rest 15 minutes covered in plastic wrap.
Set up a pasta rolling machine and cut off a piece of pasta dough the size of a tennis ball. Roll the pasta through the rollers on the widest setting, then fold it by thirds and run it through again on the same setting. Repeat this three times, being careful to add very little flour, as it will dry out the pasta. Run the pasta through the next two thinner settings. It should be quite thick.
Lay the sheet of pasta onto a floured cutting board and use a knife to cut crosswise into 1/3-inch strips. Lay the cut noodles on a kitchen towel and cover with another. Roll and cut the remaining pasta the same way.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat 6 tablespoons the oil and the garlic over medium hi until the garlic is light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the zucchini pieces and cook until just soft, 2 to 3 minutes.. Add the pepper flakes, wine, and butter, bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and remove from the heat.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until tender yet al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and toss into the pan with the shrimp and place pan over high heat. Cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, about a minute, and pasta and sauce have become one.
Add the parsley and toss through with the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, off the heat. Pour into a heated bowl and serve with plenty of pepper.