Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year's Eve Celebration is Yummalicious!

Happy New Year!

I had a New Year's Eve party.  I knew there would be 8 to 12 people coming so I wanted to make sure almost everything was done prior to the party so I could really have fun.  I decided I wanted to try two recipes I had been waiting to try, and made one of my all time favorites.  It turned out it was three different pastas, which is something I wouldn't normally do, but it worked because all the flavors were very different.

Here is the menu:

  • Lemon Spaghetti (served on thin spaghetti -- not cappellini, just a nice thin spaghetti)
  • Portabella Bolognese (served on egg fettucine)
  • Artichoke Pesto (served on narrow penne with roasted chicken added for meat eaters) Salad - Butter Lettuce, Cucumber, Toasted Almonds, Shredded Parmesan, Vinegar (red wine + balsamic), olive oil, salt + pepper
  • Hot Fudge Sundae Bar (several ice cream flavors and a table full of toppings -- nuts, cookies, cookie crumbs, strawberries, bananas, candies, Salted Caramel Sauce from Trader Joe's, and homemade hot fudge sauce)
I also made a special festive punch for 10:

  • Fresh Tangerine Juice -- about 3 cups
  • Pomegranate Juice-- about 3 cups
  • Orange Liqueur (I used Patron Citronage) - about 1/2 cup
  • Vodka -- about 1 cup
  • Lambrusco - 3 bottles
I made this up for a Christmas gathering, but added the Vodka this time which really gave it some more depth and less sweet.  But, you can play with the amounts to fit your own tastebud whims.

Here are links to the best of the recipes for the night. I'm not posting the Portabella Bolognese because I had to totally manipulate it, and it never got to be the proper thickness.  Though it was great in the end, I can't tell you how I did it, because I worked on it over two days.

Lemon Spaghetti -- I doubled the recipe, but tripled the lemon zest and added an extra half cup of lemon juice because I like it super-lemony.

Great Hot Fudge Sauce-- II've tried a lot of recipes over the years and this one has a lot of depth. I really liked it.  My guests did too.

This is unbelievable. I had no idea where I got this recipe until I searched for it to give you a link. It's a Weight Watchers recipe!  Wooohooo!  It is unbelievably delicious.  BUT, please note: I screwed it up. How?  I tossed it with the pasta about an hour before the party started (and covered it well with tin foil), so about 3 hours before we ate, and it turned from a lucious light minty green color to ugly dark brown, and it turned from creamy to nearly crusty and dry.  I have actually never had a sauce change texture so radically.  It is stunningly good when served fresh.   You can make the sauce the day ahead (which I did).  You just can't toss it with the pasta until you are ready to serve.  Lesson learned.  But, this is one of my favorite pastas now.  Ever.

As I face my new year having gained some of my weight back, I'm thrilled to know this recipe is WW friendly.  Woooooooooohooooo!!!!

Buon Anno Nuovo Appetito!

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