How to Make Italian Drunken Noodles at Home

  • 12 ounces pappardelle or wide fettuccine noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (spicy or sweet, casings removed)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine (such as Chianti)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional for heat)
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn (for garnish)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)


  1. Cook the Pasta:
    • Cook the pappardelle or wide fettuccine noodles in salted boiling water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving a cup of pasta water for adjusting the sauce later if needed.
  2. Brown the Sausage:
    • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking it apart with a spoon, until browned and cooked through. Remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Sauté the Vegetables:
    • In the same skillet, add the sliced onions and bell peppers. Sauté for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Deglaze with Wine:
    • Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Allow the wine to simmer and reduce by half.
  5. Add Tomatoes and Seasonings:
    • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Bring the sauce to a simmer.
  6. Combine with Sausage and Noodles:
    • Return the cooked sausage to the skillet with the sauce. Add the cooked noodles, tossing well to ensure they are fully coated with the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water until you reach your desired consistency.
  7. Garnish and Serve:
    • Remove the skillet from the heat. Garnish the Italian Drunken Noodles with torn fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese before serving

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