Check the Great Big Table podcast (http://greatbigtable.com), a podcast about expanding the board game hobby.
One idea that we had for a variant to change things up in this fun little game was to make a specialized six sided die to help change up play. You can find blank six sided dice at most teacher supply stores.
Take a blank die and then print off a colored sticker for each of the four colored noodles in the game (blue, red, green, and yellow). Also create a sticker that says "skip" and one that says "choose." Affix all the stickers to the die and you're ready to go.
One each player's turn, they roll the die. This determines which noodle color they have to pick.
If you roll "choose," you can pick the color of noodle that you'd like to draw.
If you roll "skip," you are safe for the round and don't have to make a pick.
On a successful pick, the die passes to the next player.
You keep going until some causes a meatball to drop and triggers the tipping mechanism.
If you roll a noodle color that has already been exhausted, that color on the die is now treated the same as if the "choose" side had been rolled. Just pick any color noodle that you'd like to attempt to draw.