Drunken Spaghetti

Alright, listen kids… I’m all about not being a wine snob, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t mean I’m down with drinking any old unfortunate, un-inspiring wine… No, no my friends, the world doesn’t need those wines at all.

So! Since trying new things is the only way to discover what we like, we’re bound to come across a bottle or two that don’t excite us. That’s why it’s good to have a fail-safe! An action plan to execute in the unfortunate event that such a wine is discovered. You know, to make the best of the worst!

But what good can come from said ‘worst’?

Answer: Drunken Spaghetti!

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 1 bottle of dry red wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 3 cloves of garlic – smashed
  • a pinch of salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino cheese
  • 1 small bunch of fresh parsley – chopped
  • 3 dried chilli peppers – crushed (optional)
  • 1 cup walnuts – toasted & coarsely chopped
  • A better bottle of wine to drink while cooking! 


  • Add water, salt and 3 cups of wine to a large pot and bring to a boil. Break spaghetti in half before adding it to the pot. *seriously, do this. Don’t watch as half of your pasta cooks while the other half sits above the surface – you will not get the perfect al dente this way – also, shorter pasta takes in more sauce!* Cook until al dente (as soon as the pasta bends on it’s own you should drain it). Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Do not rinse noodles, ever. Noodle-rinsers are bad people. I’m pretty sure that’s a real fact.
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the smashed garlic and crushed chilli peppers and season with salt. Let that sauté for a couple minutes. Mmmm, smells like yum. Add the rest of the wine and the remaining 1/4 cup of cooking liquid and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir in the pasta and cook until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. This shouldn’t take longer than 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, toasted walnuts, parsley, and cheese. Toss to coat the pasta and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Et voilà – you’re a drunken chef!

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