Italian Drunken Noodles

Indulge in the rich and robust flavors of Italy with this tantalizing recipe for Italian Drunken Noodles. Bursting with the vibrant colors and aromatic spices of Italian cuisine, these savory noodles are infused with the bold essence of red wine, creating a dish that’s as comforting as it is unforgettable.


Prepare to tantalize your taste buds with this delightful blend of ingredients:

  • 8 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 1 cup red wine (preferably Italian)
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Experience the culinary journey of creating Italian Drunken Noodles with these simple steps:

  1. Cook the Egg Noodles: Begin by cooking the egg noodles according to package instructions until they reach al dente perfection. Once cooked, drain them and set them aside.
  2. Brown the Italian Sausage: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook it, breaking it apart with a spoon, until it’s beautifully browned and cooked through. Once done, remove the sausage from the skillet and set it aside.
  3. Sauté the Vegetables: In the same skillet, add the sliced onions and bell peppers. Sauté them until they become softened and slightly caramelized, which usually takes about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking for an additional minute until they become fragrant.
  4. Deglaze with Red Wine: Pour in the red wine, making sure to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Allow the wine to reduce by half, which usually takes about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Simmer the Sauce: Stir in the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, and dried basil. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and let it simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  6. Combine and Cook: Return the cooked sausage to the skillet, then add the cooked noodles to the sauce, tossing everything together to coat evenly. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until everything is heated through and well combined.
  7. Serve and Enjoy: Garnish your Italian Drunken Noodles with fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for an extra touch of flavor. Serve them hot and savor each delicious bite.

Serving and Storage Tips :

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Before serving, sprinkle fresh basil leaves over the noodles for a burst of color and flavor.
  2. Pair with Garlic Bread: Serve the noodles alongside warm garlic bread or breadsticks to soak up the delicious sauce.
  3. Add a Side Salad: Accompany the noodles with a crisp side salad dressed with vinaigrette for a refreshing contrast.
  4. Top with Parmesan Cheese: Offer grated Parmesan cheese at the table for guests to sprinkle over their noodles for an extra cheesy touch.
  5. Serve with Red Wine: Pair the Italian Drunken Noodles with a glass of red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese, to complement the flavors of the dish.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Italian Drunken Noodles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  2. Reheating: To reheat the noodles, simply microwave them in a microwave-safe dish or reheat them on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through.
  3. Refresh with Sauce: If the noodles seem dry when reheating, add a splash of chicken broth or pasta sauce to moisten them.
  4. Freezing: While you can freeze leftover noodles, note that the texture may change slightly upon thawing and reheating. Store them in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month.
  5. Thawing: Thaw frozen noodles overnight in the refrigerator before reheating them. Alternatively, reheat them directly from frozen in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a little extra liquid to prevent them from drying out.

Variations :

  1. Seafood Twist: Substitute Italian sausage with cooked shrimp or scallops for a seafood-inspired version. Add them to the sauce along with the vegetables for a delicious twist.
  2. Vegetarian Option: Skip the Italian sausage altogether and bulk up the dish with a variety of vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, and spinach. Sauté the veggies until tender before adding the sauce ingredients.
  3. Spicy Kick: Increase the heat by adding additional red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños to the sauce. For an extra fiery flavor, use spicy Italian sausage instead of the regular variety.
  4. Creamy Variation: For a creamier sauce, stir in a dollop of heavy cream or half-and-half towards the end of cooking. This will add richness and a silky texture to the dish.
  5. Herbaceous Twist: Experiment with different herbs to enhance the flavor profile. Try adding fresh thyme, rosemary, or parsley to the sauce for a fragrant and herbaceous touch.
  6. Cheesy Delight: Boost the cheesy goodness by mixing in extra shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese into the sauce. Sprinkle additional cheese on top before baking for a gooey and indulgent finish.
  7. Mushroom Medley: Create a mushroom lover’s version by adding a variety of mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake, and portobello to the dish. Sauté them until golden brown before incorporating them into the sauce.
  8. Green Veggie Variation: Amp up the nutritional value by incorporating green vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or peas. Steam or blanch the veggies separately, then add them to the sauce along with the cooked noodles.
  9. White Wine Alternative: Swap the red wine for white wine to create a lighter and brighter sauce. White wine pairs well with seafood and lends a refreshing acidity to the dish.
  10. Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free egg noodles or your favorite gluten-free pasta to make this dish suitable for those with gluten sensitivities. Ensure that all other ingredients, including the Italian sausage, are gluten-free as well.

These variations offer creative ways to customize the Italian Drunken Noodles recipe according to your preferences and dietary requirements. Feel free to mix and match ingredients to create your own unique version of this flavorful and satisfying dish!

FAQs :

  1. Can I make this recipe ahead of time for a dinner party?
    • Yes, you can prepare the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Cook the noodles fresh when you’re ready to serve.
  2. What can I serve with Italian Drunken Noodles?
    • These noodles pair well with a variety of sides, including garlic bread, salad, roasted vegetables, or even a charcuterie board with Italian meats and cheeses.
  3. Can I omit the wine from the recipe?
    • While the wine adds depth of flavor to the dish, you can omit it if desired. Substitute with beef or vegetable broth for a similar richness.
  4. How can I adjust the spice level of the dish?
    • To control the heat, adjust the amount of red pepper flakes added to the recipe. Start with less if you prefer a milder flavor, and add more according to your taste.
  5. Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
    • Absolutely! While egg noodles work well, you can use any pasta shape you prefer, such as penne, spaghetti, or fettuccine.
  6. Is there a vegetarian version of this recipe?
    • Yes, you can omit the Italian sausage and use a plant-based alternative or add extra vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach for a vegetarian option.
  7. Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes?
    • Certainly! You can substitute fresh tomatoes for crushed tomatoes by dicing them and cooking them down until they form a sauce-like consistency.
  8. How do I prevent the noodles from sticking together when storing leftovers?
    • Toss the leftover noodles with a little olive oil before refrigerating them to prevent them from sticking together.
  9. Can I freeze the cooked noodles?
    • While you can freeze the noodles, note that the texture may change slightly upon thawing. Freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer bag for easier storage.

These serving and storage tips, along with the FAQs, will help you enjoy your Italian Drunken Noodles to the fullest and make the most of any leftovers.