‘nduja recipes


What is 'nduja?

First up, let's get the pronunciation clear: en-doo-yah (said with your best Italian accent). We're obsessed with this spicy spreadable salami from Calabria. Made with a mix of pork, herbs and spices including a generous hit of Calabrian chilli peppers, it packs a punch.

Why do we care?
The soft texture of this intensely flavoured salami is part of its appeal. Bring the 'nduja to room temperature before you use it to get the full flavour and to allow the fat to soften. We also love its rich red colour, courtesy of the chilli peppers. The pork, fat and chilli heat add up to one amazing flavour sensation. A little goes a long way, and it lasts well in the refrigerator.

Where can I get it?
It can be tricky to find 'nduja. Specialist Italian delicatessens sell it, either in its whole form, which is shaped like a football and wrapped in netting, or in jars or resealable packets. We especially love Salumi Australia's version and it has distributors throughout the country. See salumi.com.au for stockists.

Nduja does not need to be cooked before eating. It can be served as a spread on crackers or bread but its texture also allows it to be used in cooking, to add colour and heat. It might judiciously be stirred through cooked pasta, added to scrambled eggs or omelettes, dabbed onto a potato frittata, stirred into a savoury muffin mix, incorporated into bread or scone doughs or used in soups and stews of all kinds.

On bread or toast 
Grill or toast slices of bread and spread the ’nduja on top. Eat on its own or add any one or two of the following antipasti: fresh ricotta, burrata (soft creamy buffalo mozzarella), fresh goat’s curd (in Calabria this is called juncata di capra), black olives, capers, fresh tomato with olive oil, grilled artichokes or smoked anchovies.

With grilled or barbecued meat or fish 
Warm and brush on to pork chops or chicken, sardines or mackerel, prawns or clams that have been cooked and opened before grilling.

Pasta sauce 
Warm four tablespoons of olive oil and add 450g of halved cherry tomatoes. Add four torn basil leaves and two tablespoons of ’nduja. Sauté gently until the tomatoes are soft, then add a chopped clove of garlic. Stir into cooked penne or rigatoni and serve.

Dot a few half-teaspoons of ’nduja over a pizza before baking; it will melt and spread so do not overdo it.

Braised meat 
Use in casserole recipes (pork, chicken, partridge or lamb), adding the ’nduja to the pan once the meat is browned. Serve the meat with tagliatelle.

Baked potatoes 
Bake a potato, removing it from the oven when three-quarters done. Cut the top off the potato, scoop out a dessertspoonful of flesh. Place a heaped teaspoon of ’nduja on to one end of a slice of pancetta and roll it into a ball – put this in the potato. Put the top back on the potato and wrap it in a layer of foil. Return to the oven for 20-30 minutes, then unwrap and serve.

With fried eggs 
Sauté some ham and add a little ’nduja to the pan. Crack in two eggs and fry until the whites are firm. Serve on hot toast for a filling, warming breakfast.