Nduja is something I’ve been hunting down for years and I finally got to cook with it this week. It is Calabria’s clever variation on salami, which is spreadable and melts into an unctuous delight when heated, making this buttery sauce perfectly rich and wicked (even though the ingredients are so humble).
Nduja is composed of pork belly, jowl, tripe and roasted peppers and spices – so varies widely. It can of course be eaten as a spread but I loved the idea of melting this into a fruity, concentrated tomato sauce and it added a great punch of spice, transforming the simple sauce into more of a ragout – absolutely delicious!
I don’t normally add butter to my tomato sauces but was inspired by a recipe on ‘Eat like a Girl’ a brilliant London travel food blog and Marcella Hazan (who inspired her!) Links below to the blog and Marcella’s book.
I have made a few small changes – adding more tomatoes, nduja for the chopped chorizo and a grated onion. Freeze any leftover sauce.
Ingredients Serves 4
- 800g good quality tomatoes – small and fruity are good
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 brown onion, grated
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 200g nduja
- Pasta of your choice
Heat a frying pan, add the butter and when this melts, add the onion and garlic. Cook for a good 5 minutes over a medium heat, give it a stir frequently to ensure it doesn’t stick.
Add the nduja and cook until this has completely melted into the onion and garlic.
Get a medium saucepan with a lid and add your blitzed tomatoes along with the nduja mix, stir and leave to simmer for a good 45 minutes until your sauce has reached your desired consistency – stirring occasionally. Leave the lid on but perched over the pan on your wooden spoon, so condensation can escape but the sauce doesn’t bubble out of the pan.
Season to taste and cook your pasta. Drain (reserving half a cup of pasta water) and stir the pasta into the sauce, making sure it’s completely coated. Add a little pasta water, to loosen it up if you wish.
Serve with shaved parmesan and enjoy!