Italian Drunken Noodles


Italian Drunken Noodles are the perfect blend of two incredible cuisines, combining the richness of Italian ingredients with the essence of Thai drunken noodles. If you’ve ever pondered how a dish could bridge the culinary gap between Italy and Thailand, then this flavorful fusion is your answer. Quick to prepare, tantalizingly delicious, and brimming with spicy sausage, sweet peppers, and pappardelle noodles, this dish is a must-try!

The Birth of Drunken Italian Noodles

Having tasted the authentic Thai drunken noodles (or pad kee mao), you’re probably familiar with its rich and vibrant flavors. This Thai dish, laden with broad rice noodles, savory sauce, bell peppers, onions, and a choice of spicy meat or seafood, always captivates the taste buds. The idea to infuse this classic with Italian flair birthed the Italian Drunken Noodles, a delightful fusion of pappardelle noodles, spicy Italian sausage, a wine-kissed tomato sauce, and fresh herbs.

Creating the Perfect Italian Drunken Noodles Recipe

To capture the spirit of the original Thai dish, certain components like noodles, meat, vegetables, and sauce need to stay true to form. However, the beauty of fusion cooking lies in making tasteful switches. In this recipe, traditional rice noodles make way for wide and tender pappardelle, while spicy Italian sausage replaces tofu or shrimp. The flavorful sauce marries tomato with wine, and the dish is brought to life with a flourish of fresh basil and multi-colored bell peppers.

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Key Ingredients and How to Make It

Starting with 8 ounces of uncooked pappardelle noodles, the dish evolves with the richness of olive oil, the spice of Italian sausage, and the sweetness of bell peppers in varying colors. Garlic adds depth, white wine (like Chardonnay) introduces the ‘drunken’ element, and diced tomatoes provide the base. The sauce is then perfected with flat-leaf parsley, julienned basil leaves, and seasonings. The cooking process is fairly straightforward: cook the noodles, brown the sausage, caramelize the onions, sauté the veggies, and let the sauce simmer to perfection.

Some Tips for the Perfect Drunken Noodles

Choosing the right cookware can significantly affect the outcome. A large, heavy-bottom pan, like a cast iron or Dutch oven, is ideal. While pappardelle noodles are recommended, you can opt for any other pasta if unavailable. The choice between white and red wine depends on personal preference, but remember, the alcohol can always be substituted with chicken stock. For vegetarians, omit the sausage or replace with tofu, echoing the Thai inspiration. And if you’re planning ahead, making the sauce in advance only enhances its flavor, ensuring the perfect Italian Drunken Noodles experience every time.

Italian Drunken Noodles

At first glance, one might wonder how Italian pasta met the Thai concept of ‘drunken’. Yet, it’s this very fusion that produces a plate bursting with spicy sausage, diverse peppers, aromatic onions, and the refreshing touch of basil—all subtly enhanced with wine.
4 from 14 votes
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Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Drunken Noodles, Italian Drunken Noodles
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 610kcal


  • 8 ounces Uncooked Pappardelle noodles
  • A dash of Olive oil
  • 4 Spicy Italian sausage links casings removed
  • 1 Onion sliced thinly and quartered
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon of Cracked black pepper
  • 1 each of Red Yellow, and Orange bell peppers (all cored and thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves of Garlic pressed
  • ½ cup Chardonnay or preferred white wine
  • 28 ounces of Diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup Julienned fresh basil leaves divided for use


  • Begin with the Pappardelle noodles, cooking them according to their package’s guidance. Once perfectly al dente, drain and set aside.
  • In a spacious pan, warm up the olive oil. Here’s where the magic starts: crumble the spicy Italian sausage into the pan, letting each piece brown and sizzle.
  • Following the sausage, introduce the onions, letting them caramelize to a golden hue. Season with salt, Italian seasoning, and cracked black pepper.
  • Time for a color explosion. Add the red, yellow, and orange bell peppers. As they soften, usher in the garlic.
  • With the ingredients mingling, pour in the white wine, letting it reduce, before adding the diced tomatoes and the browned sausage.
  • As flavors meld in a simmer, finish off with a generous drizzle of olive oil, parsley, and half of the basil.
  • Marry the noodles with the sauce, ensuring each strand is beautifully coated.
  • Serving suggestion: Plate the noodles, garnishing with the remaining basil and perhaps, a sprinkle of parmesan. A drizzle of olive oil? Why not!


  • A cast iron or Dutch oven amplifies the dish’s flavors, thanks to its heat retention.
  • If Pappardelle evades you, any broad noodle will rise to the occasion.
  • White wine sets the tone, but a red could bring a new note.
  • Not a fan of alcohol? Chicken stock with a hint of lemon zest can be your alternative.
  • Vegetarian? Skip the sausage, or better yet, embrace tofu for that Thai essence.
  • For the connoisseurs: making the sauce a day ahead enriches its depth.


Calories: 610kcal


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