‘Nduja: spicing it up in the South of Italy

If spicy food gets your stomach rumbling, look no further than Calabria’s most famous export for a real taste of the fiery South.  This spicy sausage, locally known as the ‘Calabrian aphrodisiac’ is as addictive as the region itself and whether heated and spread on crusty bread or added to your pasta, ‘nduja will spark a fire inside even the bravest of eaters.

‘Nduja originates from the small mountain town of Spilinga and from humble roots come humble ingredients; ground pork, locally grown chilli and salt. Encased in an intestine, smoked and cured, ‘Nduja becomes a spreadable paste, packed full of flavour and guaranteed to give any dish a fiery kick.

As an antipasto, ‘Nduja is heated until the fat breaks down and served on rustic bread with local cheese but it can also be added to a variety of dishes for a tasty kick.

Below is my favourite ‘Nduja recipe. Get your hands on some ‘nduja and give it a try (if you dare).

Pasta ‘nduja, peperoni e pomodori

Ingredients

You will need (Serves 2):

200g penne pasta

1 large yellow bell pepper

1 large red tropea onion

250g fresh tomatoes

1-3 tablespoons of ‘Nduja (depending on how hot you can handle!)

salt and pepper to season

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

  • Chop the onion and pepper into small pieces and lightly fry in pre-heated oil over a low flame until softened.
  • When the onion and peppers are ready add the chopped tomatoes and stir well. Finally, mix in the ‘nduja and leave to slowly cook on a low heat.
  • Meanwhile, boil the pasta and drain.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, stir through until all covered and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with a decent red wine and prepare your tastebuds for a fiery party!
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