How do I pronounce ‘nduja?
Before we delve into learning all about the spicy spreadable sausage, let’s establish how to say its name. ‘Nduja is pronounced ‘en-doo-ya’.
‘Nduja is a cross between a spicy, hot pâté and a spreadable salami – meaning that it has, unsurprisingly, developed a cult following. Its popularity shows no signs of slowing as people are embracing the meaty, spicy, umami flavours of this unique ingredient.
What is ‘nduja?
‘Nduja is a type of spicy, spreadable sausage. Although it is believed to have first been introduced by the Spanish (and is very similar to sobrassada from the island of Mallorca), ‘nduja is associated with Southern Italy, in particular the Calabria region.
‘Nduja which can be bought online (and in shops) will most likely come in a jar, however if you’re making ‘nduja from scratch at home, it is shaped into a large sausage and hung for around 4 weeks. After just a few days, the casing turns from white to almost transparent, revealing the vibrant orange ‘nduja within.
What is ‘nduja made of?
‘Nduja is typically made with only 4 ingredients:
When ‘nduja was first produced, it was done so more out of necessity than desire. ‘Nduja was an economical way of making the most of a pig. Farmers would sell the sought-after cuts of meat, and keep the cheaper cuts that no-one else wanted (often the head!).
When the meat was ground and combined with fat and flavourings, it produced a great-tasting sausage that was affordable to produce.
Calabrian chillies are the traditional pepper to use in ‘nduja, and the ratio of pepper is around 30% of the total sausage weight. These punchy peppers not only give the sausage its rich orange-red hue, but provide a fiery, slightly smoky flavour.
What does ‘nduja taste like?
Meaty, spicy, umami - these three words best describe what to expect when you first try ‘nduja sausage. The high percentage of chilli gives a strong, fiery kick to the sausage, meaning it’s best to use ‘nduja in small quantities - 1 tsp is enough for adding a punch to ‘nduja pasta sauces.
How to cook with ‘nduja
Here are four ways to celebrate the spicy sausage in your cooking…
Nduja Spaghetti With Wild Garlic Recipe
'Nduja spaghetti with wild garlic makes a quick-yet-impressive weeknight dinner. The hot Calabrian sausage is stirred in at the last minute for a spicy kick to the simple butter and garlic sauce.
Nduja Hot Dog Recipe
We’ve added ‘nduja to warm butter to create a spicy drizzle for frankfurters. A great way to add a fiery kick to the classic hot dog. Try the recipe now.
’Nduja Pizza Recipe
Frying pan pizzas are a quick and efficient way of making wonderfully crisp, puffy-based pizzas at home. Here we've topped them with fiery 'nduja and peppery rocket leaves.
Eggs Benedict With 'Nduja Hollandaise Recipe
The rich creamy egg yolks, cured ham and earthy spinach are the ultimate match for fiery, buttery ‘nduja hollandaise. An indulgent breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try the recipe here.
Ellie Edwards is a food writer for Sous Chef. Previously she worked at olive magazine, writing about exciting new ingredients, UK restaurants and travelling the world to find the best cinnamon buns. When she's not exploring the likes of Belize, Kerala and Zanzibar, Ellie loves rustling up a feast in her London kitchen, with a particular passion for porridge, sourdough and negronis.