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A Cozy Pasta: Italian Drunken Noodles, and Shaking Things up a Bit

A Cozy Pasta: Italian Drunken Noodles, and Shaking Things up a Bit
All of the above holds true in regards to food and recipes as well.
Often, a familiar dish is perceived in one way and one way only; but does it have to be that way? Why can’t a beloved favorite be made in a fresh and different way?
I like to take the essence of something that I do know, and create something else that I haven’t yet had; to take bits and pieces—the elements—that are reminiscent of a familiar dish and make a completely new one out of them, an original, to keep things fun and interesting for myself when it comes to cooking and eating.
I love using inspiration as my guide when it comes to food, the same way I try to use it when it comes to everyday living.
So when I sat down to come up with a few comforting and cozy pasta recipes to share over the next few posts, I thought back on a scrumptiously unique and tasty Thai noodle dish called “Drunken” Noodles that I used to get quite often from a nearby restaurant that has since relocated, and imagined how delicious it could be to make an Italian version of the dish. Why not, right?
Food is a great place to step out of a comfort zone, to shake things up and redistribute all of the flavor possibilities; it keeps things creative and different, and keeps the curiosity piqued. I love it.
And as always, with food there are no rules, in my humble opinion—only one requirement: that it tastes good. Check.
Life is abundantly full of deep, complex flavors meant for each of us to experience; and really, I can’t think of a better first-step towards experiencing that than some slick, saucy little “drunken” noodles twirled around my fork right about now.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Ingrid


Saucy Italian Drunken Noodles with Spicy Italian Sausage, Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions and Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, with Fresh Basil
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
Ingredients:
• Olive oil
• 4 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed
• 1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
• 1 ½ teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
• 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
• 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
• 1 orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• ½ cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
• 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
• 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned, divided use
• 8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked

Preparation:
-Place a large, heavy-bottom pan or braising pot over medium-high heat; add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil
-Once the oil is hot, crumble the spicy Italian sausage into the pan in small chunks (you want to keep the sausage fairly chunky), allowing it to brown in the oil for a few moments on each side;
-When the crumbled sausage is browned, remove it from the pan/pot with a slotted spoon and place into a small bowl to hold for a moment;
-Next, add the sliced onion into the pan with the sausage drippings, and allow it to caramelize and become golden for roughly 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning (add a touch more olive oil, if necessary);
-Once the onion starts to become golden, add the salt, Italian seasoning and cracked black pepper, and stir to combine, then add in the sliced bell peppers, and allow those to saute with the onion for about 2 minutes until slightly tender and golden;
-Next, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the white wine and allow it to reduce for a few moments, until almost completely reduced;
-Next, add in the diced tomatoes with their juice, and return the browned spicy Italian sausage back into the pan, and gently fold the mixture to combine; allow it to gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors, then turn the heat off;
-To finish the sauce, drizzle in about 2-3 good tablespoons of the olive oil to create a silky, rich flavor, and add in the chopped parsley and about half of the julienned basil; stir, and keep warm while you prepare the noodles.
-Prepare the pappardelle noodles according to instructions on package; then, drain the noodles very well, and add them directly into the sauce, using tongs to gently toss and combine the pappardelle noodles with the sauce and all of the ingredients in it; check the seasoning to see if you need to add any additional salt or pepper.
-To serve, add equal portions of the “Drunken” noodles to bowls, and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining julienned basil; you can even top with shaved Parmesan, if desired, and an extra drizzle of olive oil.




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