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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Pasta with ‘Nduja Recipe | The Best Spicy Pasta You’ll Ever Try

For those who like spicy (and meaty) pasta, this is the recipe for you. It’s a very simple sauce made with ‘nduja, a soft and spicy pork spread from Calabria. If you like Italian food with a kick, this traditional Calabrian dish a must-try!

Pasta with 'Nduja Recipe | How to Make Spicy Calabrian Pasta

A Note on Ingredients

While this recipe is very simple, it does require seeking out the proper ingredients: namely, ‘nduja and Calabrian fileja pasta.

In many countries, imported Calabrian ‘nduja can be sourced quite easily. Look for ‘nduja that comes from Spilinga to make sure you’re getting the real deal. If you live in the United States, the situation is more complicated as Calabrian meat imports are banned. As of this writing, we are aware of only one domestic producer that makes good ‘nduja and they ship nationwide. We strongly urge avoiding ‘nduja imported from Italy (it won’t be Calabrian and we’ve never found a good one) or other domestic producers (we’ve sampled them all, with very disappointing results.

This sauce works best with Calabrian “fileja” pasta, which can easily be sourced online (or you can watch the video below to learn how to make it). Fileja is the Calabrian term for this pasta shape, but you’ll usually find more results online if you search using the Italian name, “filei." If you absolutely must find a substitute, try rigatoni or bucatini pasta.

Watch the Pasta Grammar video:


Makes: 3 to 4 servings

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

For this recipe, you will need:

  • Salt

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • 14 ounces (400 g) canned whole peeled tomatoes

  • 7 ounces (200 g) ‘nduja, or to taste (you can increase or decrease this to adjust spiciness)

  • 12 ounces (340 g) fileja pasta

  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese for topping

Put a large pot of water on to boil and salt it generously. While it comes up to temp, heat the olive oil and peeled garlic clove in a large pan. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the tomatoes.

Crush the tomatoes with a fork, salt them to taste, and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium/low heat. Keep the sauce simmering while you cook the pasta. If the tomatoes thicken too much, you can spoon in a little of the pasta water to thin the sauce as needed.

When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta. Cook to taste or until al dente to your taste.

About two minutes before the pasta is cooked, remove and discard the garlic clove, then stir the ‘nduja into the sauce so that it melts into the tomatoes. When the pasta is al dente, use tongs or a spaghetti fork to transfer it into the sauce. Stir all together over medium/high heat until the pasta is evenly coated in sauce.

Serve immediately, topped with grated pecorino cheese.

Buon appetito!

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17 hours ago

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Joseph Toon
Joseph Toon
2 days ago

Just made this tonight. Subbed in fusilli al ferretto in place of the filei pasta. Nearly identical. Very tasty and will definitely make again, seeing as we have two more pounds of nduja.


4 days ago

Discover the ultimate spicy pasta recipe with 'Nduja! This delectable dish blends rich, spicy ‘Nduja sausage with al dente pasta for an irresistible meal. Perfect for heat seekers, it’s a flavor explosion you won’t forget. Pair it with a smile as radiant as a Juvederm Ultra-enhanced glow for the best dining experience ever.


6 days ago

I have bamboo skewers and reeds growing around my property in several diameters. What is the ideal diameter to roll fileja?


Jul 08
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