Italian Drunken Noodles: A Flavorful Pasta Dish with a Kick

Indulge in the rich and bold flavors of Italian Drunken Noodles, a dish that combines succulent Italian sausage, hearty pasta, and a spicy tomato sauce. This recipe takes inspiration from classic Italian and Thai cuisine to create a fusion dish that’s packed with flavor and sure to delight your taste buds.


For the Italian Sausage:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage links (mild or spicy, based on your preference)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Pasta:

  • 8 ounces wide rice noodles or pappardelle pasta
  • Salt, for cooking pasta

For the Drunken Noodle Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust for spice preference)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish


1. Cook the Italian Sausage:

  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the Italian sausage links to the skillet and cook until they are browned on all sides and cooked through. This should take about 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove the cooked sausage from the skillet and set it aside. Once it has cooled slightly, slice it into bite-sized pieces.

2. Cook the Pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the rice noodles or pappardelle pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
  • Drain the cooked pasta and set it aside.

3. Prepare the Drunken Noodle Sauce:

  • In the same skillet used to cook the sausage, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil
    over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and sliced bell peppers to the skillet.
  • Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the onions are translucent.
  • Stir in red pepper flakes for a hint of spice.

4. Add Wine and Tomatoes:

  • Pour in the red wine to deglaze the skillet, scraping up any flavorful bits from the bottom.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and dried oregano to the skillet.
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

5. Simmer and Combine:

  • Let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken.
  • Add the sliced Italian sausage to the sauce and let it heat through for a few minutes.

6. Combine Pasta and Sauce:

  • Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the sauce.
  • Toss everything together until the pasta is well coated with the sauce.

7. Garnish and Serve:

  • Transfer your Italian Drunken Noodles to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped basil leaves for a burst of color and flavor.

8. Enjoy:

  • Serve your Italian Drunken Noodles hot and savor the harmonious blend of Italian and Thai-inspired flavors.

The flavors of Italian sausage, bold tomato sauce, and spicy red pepper flakes combine to create a delightful fusion dish. The end result is a hearty and satisfying pasta dish with a hint of heat, making it ideal for those who like a little kick in their meals. Serve it for dinner and sample some fusion cuisine!