This Italian drunken noodle is a delicious spin on the classic Thai dish. While it may have drunken in it’s name, in this recipe it means your meat, veggies, and pasta are just liberally bathed in a rich tomato based sauce. Get your noodle on, and give this hearty meat & pasta dish a try for your next family dinner!
By far, the hubby’s favorite Thai dish is drunken noodle.
I can’t stand the stuff. Too peanut-ty for me.
When I saw this, a little light bulb lit up in my head. The perfect compromise!
The same noodle-y texture he loves, drowning in a robust sauce. Plus, being Italian, he’s obligated to like anything with the ‘I’ word in it.
Right? right. Well, hopefully.
Seriously, though. If Asian flavored ‘drunken’ noodle was so good. Why wouldn’t a saucy Italian version be just as tasty, albeit different.
Still, one question had to be answered first before I could venture any further.
What’s In A Name? Why’re They Called Drunken Noodles?
There’s actually several theories to this, and I’m not doing all the investigative work that it would take to verify or discredit each one. But I will go ahead and share them anyway, just for fun.
The first theory (slightly plausible) says that it has to do with the rice wine vinegar in the Asian dish. Although they don’t all use the ingredient.
The next theory being the age old story that someone came home intoxicated and this was the saucy dish they created out of their inebriated munchies. Plausible, yes.
The final theory being that the original noodles were so spicy, that whoever was eating them ended up drinking so much to drown out the heat that they themselves got drunk.
Not sure exactly which is true, but they all make potentially great stories. Also, they all apply to the Asian version.
We’re ready to give it a new spin and an Italian infusion of flavors for this saucy Italian drunken noodle recipe.
Italian Sausage & Pasta Bathed in A Robust Sauce- A Gourmet Dinner With Budget Friendly Ingredients
Making a really flavorful, gourmet Italian meal can seem a bit daunting. My usual idea includes spaghetti & meatballs, and sometimes a very basic pasta carbonara.
Luckily, over the years I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be hard to up the ante and really make something special- even on the busiest of weeknights.
The most important thing tends to be the recipe in question and the way the ingredients called for are to be incorporated.
This Italian drunken noodle uses papparadelle noodles, but broken lasagna noodles will also work. I prefer the former only becuase it yields a neater look and a better consistency. Either will work taste-wise.
With chunks of Italian sausage, plenty of seasonings, fresh bell peppers, some juicy tomatoes, and a bit of spice and a hint of wine- everything melds together in a single pot.
This drunken Italian noodle recipe ended up being a smashing success! Everybody loved this.
Me, myself, and I at the forefront of the list. I mean it was gourmet flavor for a budget price using ingredients I always keep on hand.
Family & Mom approved. That’s a real winner.
TIPS & TRICKS For Making The Best Saucy Drunken Italian Noodle Pasta
- If you’re feeling risky, spice it up by adding more crushed red peppers
- Instead of using sweet or mild Italian sausage, you can try using spicy Italian sausage links. It’s a great way to up the flavor, just keep in mind your audience when deciding
- Don’t have sausage? Ground beef will work just fine. You can also sub ground turkey if that’s more to your liking, or dietary preferences.
This saucy Italian pasta meal is totally forgiving, so feel free to just ‘go with it.’
Don’t you just love a liberating recipe?!
This Italian drunken noodle is a delicious spin on the classic Thai dish.
And while it may have drunken in it’s name, in this recipe it means your meat, veggies, and pasta are just liberally bathed in a rich tomato based sauce.
Get your noodle on, and give this hearty meat & pasta dish a try for your next family dinner!
Other Hearty Italian Meals You Might Also Enjoy
If you’ve tried these ITALIAN DRUNKEN NOODLES, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Italian Drunken Noodles
- 4 Italian sausage links casings removed
- 1 large onion quartered and sliced thinly
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 red bell pepper cored and thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper cored and thinly sliced
- 1 orange bell pepper cored and thinly sliced
- 4 tsp minced garlic
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves julienned, divided use
- 8 ounces Pappardelle or lasagna noodles broken up, uncooked
- Place a large, heavy-bottom pan or braising pot over medium-high heat; add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and once the oil is hot, crumble the Italian sausage into the pan in small chunks (you want to keep the sausage fairly chunky), allowing it to brown in the oil for a few moments on each side; once the crumbled sausage is browned, remove it from the pan/pot with a slotted spoon and place into a small bowl to hold for a moment; next, add the sliced onion into the pan with the sausage drippings, and allow it to caramelize and become golden for roughly 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning (add a touch more olive oil, if necessary); once the onion starts to become golden, add the salt, Italian seasoning cracked black pepper and crushed red pepper, and stir to combine, then add in the sliced bell peppers, and allow those to saute with the onion for about 2 minutes until slightly tender and golden; next, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the white wine and allow it to reduce for a few moments, until almost completely reduced; next, add in the diced tomatoes with their juice, and return the browned spicy Italian sausage back into the pan, and gently fold the mixture to combine; allow it to gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors, then turn the heat off; to finish the sauce, drizzle in about 2-3 good tablespoons of the olive oil to create a silky, rich flavor, and add in the chopped parsley and about half of the julienned basil; stir, and keep warm while you prepare the noodles.
- Prepare the pappardelle noodles according to instructions on package; then, drain the noodles very well, and add them directly into the sauce, using tongs to gently toss and combine the pappardelle noodles with the sauce and all of the ingredients in it; check the seasoning to see if you need to add any additional salt or pepper.
- To serve, add equal portions of the “Drunken” noodles to bowls, and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining julienned basil; you can even top with shaved Parmesan, if desired, and an extra drizzle of olive oil.