Say “Nduja”, say Calabria
What is Nduja? It’s a spicy hot, soft and spreadable salami: the most famous typical food of Calabria.
It is made with very finely minced pork meat and fat, mixed with red chili peppers, salt and spices. The original Nduja is extremely hot, but less aggressive variations can be also found on the market. Since it is extremely soft, it can be used raw to spicy up bread slices for preparations such as “crostini” or the larger “crostoni”. Or it can be cooked in sauces for either short or long pasta.
Nduja sauce recipe
When cooked in sauce, Nduja needs to be cooked gently and carefully, in order to melt the inner fat without burning it: that would give the sauce a bitter taste.
The most simple way of enjoying the gem of Calabria is to heat it slowly, over a medium heat, in extra virgin olive oil, which has been flavoured with garlic and parsley sprigs. Then the pasta can join the sauce in the frying pan, adding a couple of ladles of cooking liquor and slightly increasing the heat to reduce it.
At the end, freshly minced parsley and cheese – I’d suggest Caciocavallo – can be added to give the dish a fresh yet slightly acidic note.
Spicy bucatini by Aglio Vestito
Here you can find my recipe for a nice and hot pasta sauce:“Bucatini with spicy Nduja” recipe. The bucatini can be easily substituted with penne or paccheri or any other big sized pasta, since spaghetti might be too small and lack the volume this sauce deserves.