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?
Nudja is a Calabrian specialty. It’s thought to have been first introduced by the Spanish, as the pork spread is rich with smoky, red pepper flavours. South Italy is now famous for its ‘nduja production, though – especially the municipality of Spilinga, where this variety is made.
Nduja is also related to Tuscan soppressata – an uncured salami made primarily with left over parts of the pig after the choicer cuts have been used. The head is traditionally the main ingredient in both soppressata and ‘nduja, but don’t let this put you off! The salami is rich and meaty, and the hefty dose of red pepper in ‘nduja gives it a strong chilli kick and even a kind of smokiness.
Chef Francesco Mazzei, of Santini, L’Anima and Sartoria fame, first introduced the UK to ‘nduja back in 2006. He was determined to give his home speciality the recognition it deserved, and we’re very glad he succeeded!
How do I cook with nduja?
Nduja has a smooth texture and strong taste. The traditional Calabrian way is to spread nduja on a piece of crusty bread, perhaps with some cheese. But be warned - the strong flavours are only for those with a chilli-hardened palate!
A little nduja goes a long way. Just one teaspoon really livens up a tomato sauce for a quick pasta dish. Nduja is also delicious with seafood, particularly in a crab linguine. Or dollop it sparingly over a pizza with lots of mozzarella, fresh spinach and sundried tomatoes.
Browse our ‘nduja recipes for more ideas:
Ingredients: Fat and pork meat, peppers (30%), salt (no preservatives, artificial colours or flavours). Refrigerate after opening, and consume within 30 days.
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