September 05, 2005

I experiment, so that you don't have to

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.


Ana said...

Looks like an interesting recipe. Maybe if served with steak or chicken on the side, or maybe with lots more shrimp. How was the taste like?

Dawna said...

The flavour was quite monotone, actually, despite little bites from the pepper and the garlic. The shrimp gave it a more briney sea-flavour, but you could really taste the wine. Good thing I used a drinkable wine! The sauce was quite thin - maybe it needed more anchovies.

I think that this is more of a side dish, preferably to a strongly flavoured main dish. It was really as a main course all by itself that it just didn't cut it.

Punky said...

The pasta does look great, I am sorry it didn't pan out taste wise. I hate when that happens.

Randi said...

have you made giada's lemon spagetti? Its really really good. I sauted some shrimp and veggies with it. Yummy.

Dawna said...

I've made Nigella's lemon spaghetti, which was very tasty, but I wasn't really thinking clearly about how much it made. We had lemon spaghetti for days...

I've seen Giada make hers on Everyday Italian, but I haven't tried it. I think it would be great with the shrimp fra diavolo on the side. I think she makes those two in the same episode. I'll have to give it a whirl!

Anonymous said...

not only are giada's recipes delicious, she's wonderful to admire.