Italian Drunken Noodles: A Flavorful Pasta Dish with a Kick

Indulge in the rich and robust flavors of Italian cuisine with this tantalizing recipe for Italian Drunken Noodles. Bursting with spicy Italian sausage, colorful bell peppers, and fragrant herbs, this dish is sure to delight your taste buds and transport you to the heart of Italy. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight dinner or entertaining guests, these drunken noodles are guaranteed to impress. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover how to create this mouthwatering masterpiece!


  • Olive oil
  • 4 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup white wine (such as Chardonnay)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked


  1. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the spicy Italian sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until browned and crumbled, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, add another drizzle of olive oil if needed, then add the sliced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Season the onions with salt, Italian seasoning, and cracked black pepper. Add the sliced bell peppers and minced garlic to the skillet, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until the peppers are tender-crisp.
  4. Pour in the white wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Allow the wine to reduce by half, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juice, chopped parsley, and half of the julienned basil. Return the cooked sausage to the skillet and simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  6. While the sauce simmers, cook the Pappardelle noodles according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the noodles and add them to the skillet with the sauce, tossing to coat evenly.
  7. Garnish the Italian Drunken Noodles with the remaining julienned basil before serving. Enjoy hot!

Cook Notes and Tips:

  • For extra heat, use hot Italian sausage or add red pepper flakes to the sauce.
  • Feel free to customize the dish by adding your favorite vegetables such as mushrooms, spinach, or cherry tomatoes.
  • If you prefer a vegetarian version, you can omit the sausage and use vegetable broth instead of white wine.


  • Seafood Twist: Substitute the Italian sausage with shrimp or scallops for a seafood variation of this dish.
  • Creamy Sauce: Add a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk to the sauce for a creamy texture.
  • Vegan Option: Replace the sausage with plant-based sausage crumbles and use vegetable broth instead of white wine.

Keto and Low-Carb Version:

  • Low-Carb Noodles: Use spiralized zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles instead of Pappardelle noodles to reduce the carb content.
  • Keto-Friendly Ingredients: Choose keto-friendly vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes, and use full-fat coconut milk instead of white wine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different type of pasta? A: Absolutely! Feel free to use your favorite type of pasta such as spaghetti, penne, or rigatoni instead of Pappardelle noodles.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Simply reheat the sauce on the stovetop and toss with freshly cooked noodles before serving.

Q: Is this dish spicy? A: The level of spiciness can be adjusted to your taste preference by using mild or hot Italian sausage and adjusting the amount of cracked black pepper or red pepper flakes.

In conclusion, Italian Drunken Noodles are a delightful combination of bold flavors and comforting textures that make for a satisfying meal any day of the week. With its simple preparation and versatile ingredients, this dish is a must-try for pasta lovers and Italian food enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or simply craving a delicious dinner, these drunken noodles are sure to please. Enjoy the rich and savory flavors of Italy with every forkful of this delectable dish!

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