Let’s shake things up a bit with tonight’s dinner – mild Italian sausage with drunken noodles.
I’m in the mood for something special tonight and also want to treat my husband. He’s very fond of Italian sausages and loves them any way that I cook them for him. Tonight, I decided on a mild Italian Sausage with drunken noodles. Alright, I confess. Maybe I am in the mood for wine. Can’t fool you can I?
It is still mild enough here in NC for some of my home grown herbs to outlast our recent cold snap. I’ll soon have to start new pots of some of them but my rosemary bush goes chugging along right through the winter.
You GUYS…look at this round of of ingredients. How can a dish not taste fabulous with these things going into it, and a bottle of wine waiting for both me and the casserole?
I chose Italian mild sausages basically because I am a chicken when it comes to spice. My husband could take fire hot sausages but not me, no sireee. I like just a hint of spice in a dish so that all my wonderful cooking skills can be savored. And didja know you can have a strip show with the sausage? Just peel the casing right off and lookie, lookie…just like hamburger but with a lot more flavor!
This casserole is ridiculously easy to make. Cook the meat. Cook the onions. Cook the veggies. Add the meat. You know the drill. Easy peasy. But each layer just keeps adding more and more flavor. Trust me on this one. Just ’cause it’s easy, doesn’t mean it is boring. NOPE.
Now comes my favorite part. The drunken party of the recipe. Not the cook though (well maybe just a little bit the cook – winkie winkie), the noodles! The last layer gets a big ole dash of vino. More like a half cup than a dash. And the aroma right about now is A-MAZ-ING! Those wide noodles are just perfect to soak up the sauce.I know, I know, I keep saying that the taste is good. But it really is. Just the right amount of richness without being decadent. Not too spicy and very full of flavor. Now I’ve filled up a plate, bring me another glass of wine, or maybe the whole bottle. Might was well keep the party going.
Italian sausage meat with caramelized onions and garlic, colorful peppers. fresh herbs, a half glass of wine, all swimming in luscious tomatoes. TO DIE FOR. Seriously, folks. So good. Add some garlic bread. Hubby is happy, tummy is happy. All is well with the world.
Dontcha want to dive right in there and join the party? There is just a hint of spice. Perfect for those who like savory casseroles but don’t want the heat that comes from spicy sausage meat.
I used a Riesling wine for this dish. It is very full bodied with a fruity finish and adds a delightful flavor to the casserole. The fresh herbs make you remember the joys of summer harvest and taste…well the taste is just perfect for a cool autumn day.
Buon Appetito…or as the Yanks say…”dig right in!”
- Olive oil
- 4 mild Italian sausage links, removed from casings and crumbled
- 1 large onion, sliced thinly and quartered
- 1 ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh oregano
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 small red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 small yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 small orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, diced and divided
- 8 ounces noodles, uncooked
- Cook the noodles as direct in boiling salted water.
- Place a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tbsp of olive oil, and the sliced Italian sausage into the pan, allowing it to brown in the oil for a few moments on each side. Remove and set aside.
- Add the sliced onion and allow it to caramelize and become golden, about 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning (add a touch more olive oil, if necessary); Once the onion starts to brown, add the salt, fresh herbs and cracked black pepper, and stir to combine. Stir in the sliced bell peppers, and allow them to saute with the onion for about 2 minutes until slightly tender and golden.
- Next, add in the garlic, cook for a minute or so and add in the white wine and allow it to reduce for a couple of minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juice, and return the sausages back into the pan, and gently fold the mixture to combine; allow it to gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes so that the flavors blend well.
- To finish the sauce, drizzle in about 2 good tablespoons of the olive oil to create a silky flavor. Stir in the chopped parsley and fresh basil, leaving some basil to garnish.
- Drain the noodles very well, and add them directly into the sauce, using tongs to gently toss and combine. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Garnish with more basil and another splash of olive oil.