Sometimes, a particular vein of recipes just doesn't work that well for me.
Drunken Spaghetti. It sounds like a darn fine thing, even when sober. I watched David Rocco making this on Dolce Vita where, to be honest, he looked a little tipsy himself - you know that "very carefully trying not to look tipsy" sort of tipsiness?
But, man, it looked good. Good enough to try, in fact, so I did.
In the context of the show, the spaghetti was being served to a bunch of somewhat drunken Italian lads as a sort of intermission before heading out (yet again, I gather) for more drinking. It looked pretty tasty, and the name alone definitely has some appeal, so I reviewed the recipe and decided to make it for dinner, despite the fact that a previous recipe attempt from that show didn't go over all that well.
Noting that there was very little going on in the recipe other than pasta and a somewhat thin dressing, I figured I would up the ante a little by adding some shrimp to the dish - to make it more of a dinner, as opposed to a side dish. There were already some anchovies in the sauce, so at least the flavours were heading in the right direction.
Well, the shrimp weren't bad, but I should have added them more last-minute as they toughened a little in the time it took for the spaghetti to absorb the wine. Overall, though, the dish still screamed "side dish" and wasn't very satisfying on its own. It wasn't terrible or anything, it just wasn't what I wanted it to be. Perhaps I needed to have drunk a lot of wine while I was making it - that might have helped.
This is strike two for David Rocco's recipes - I think I'll stick to Giada's recipes from the land of the Food Network - which have (all four that I've tried) worked very well for me despite my tendancy to depart from the original.