'Nduja Pasta | Authentic Calabrian 'Nduja Recipe
What is 'nduja? You may have seen it on a trendy menu recently, or heard its name whispered amongst foodie enthusiasts. 'Nduja is a spicy pork sausage, an Italian salami, but to define it as such would be a serious mischaracterization.
With a very high fat content, 'nduja is very soft. It can be spread on bread like butter, dolloped onto pizza for a spicy zing, or melted into a delicious pasta sauce. Its fermentation process gives it a sour funk that is deliciously unique.
Unfortunately it can be difficult to get the real thing outside of Calabria. Because it is technically raw meat (the fermentation makes it safe to eat, though), it isn't always allowed under certain import rules. The US, for instance, has to make due with a small handful of domestic producers who offer their products online.
If you want to learn how Calabrians make their own 'nduja at home, check out our video where we make this 'Nduja Pasta recipe:
For this recipe, you will need:
- 160g short dry pasta (we recommend paccheri, ziti, penne lisce, or similar)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 medium red onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup 'nduja
- 1 cup whole peeled tomatoes, crushed with a fork
Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over a medium flame on the stovetop. Once it begins to shimmer, add the onion and sautèe until tender. Add the 'nduja and stir frequently until it melts.
Add the tomatoes and a large pinch of salt, to taste. Stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Meanwhile, when the water comes to a rolling boil, salt it generously and add the pasta. When the pasta is very al dente (usually about a minute before the provided instructions), use a slotted spoon to transfer it into the sauce. Stir all together over high heat until the 'nduja sauce evenly coats the pasta.
If the pasta is still too al dente (undercooked) for your taste, simply add a small ladleful of the pasta water into the sauce and continue to cook as the moisture boils off. Repeat as necessary until it is cooked to your liking.
Serve immediately. Buon appetito!