I realized that I didn’t write any post yet about that amazing ingredient which is the ‘Nduja! 🙂
I’m not using it often because I don’t always find it, but when I see it I usually never miss it. The ‘nduja it’s a spreadable meat product typical of Calabria region, especially the area of Spilinga. It is made with pork meat, pork fat, a high amount of hot peppers (25-30% usually) and it is smoked 🙂 so it’s really spicy! And because of such a high content of hot pepper, no preservatives are used.
Traditionally all the “poor” cuts of the animal were used: spleen, stomach, lungs, intestine, heart, trachea, esophagus, pharynx, head, etc. while nowadays many modern recipes don’t use all these things. In the more artisanal ‘nduja the mix is left for a few hours in wooden kneading toughs, then stuffed in guts and smoked with resinous and aromatic woods for at least ten days. Then aged for about one year.
‘Nduja has a very particular flavor, and it can be used in many recipes, it really gives an extra kick to them. Of course, you can also simply enjoy it on a slice of good bread.
Let’s see an easy recipe.
INGREDIENTS (2 people):
- 200 g pasta (I used eliche/fusilli)
- 50-60 g ‘nduja
- 200-250 g tomato sauce
- 1 small purple onion (if you find it, Cipolla di Tropea to keep the connection with Calabria region)
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh basil
- Take a pot and start boiling the water. Then take a pan, heat a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and then add the purple onion cut into slices. Let it simmer slowly until soft, about 10 minutes. Add also just a little bit of water.
- Meanwhile take the ‘nduja and squeeze it with a fork, to make it softer. Then add it to the onions and mix together (but if you prefer you can add it after the tomato sauce).
- Add then the tomato sauce and mix. Meanwhile add also the pasta to the salted boiling water.
- When the pasta is ready, drain it and add it to the sauce, with the fresh basil leaves and a ladle of boiling water. Mix well together.
- Serve it, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and enjoy 🙂 and be sure to have a good bread to clean the dish!
PS: this sauce is perfect also with gnocchi 🙂
Pasta: eliche from Pastificio Gentile
Tomato sauce: from Niasca Portofino