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Pasta with ‘nduja: the recipe for the spicy and tasty first course

Pasta with ‘nduja: the recipe for the spicy and tasty first course


rustic tomato sauce

Extra virgin olive oil

The pasta with ‘nduja it’s a first course belonging to the Calabrian culinary tradition. With an intense and spicy taste, it is based on ‘nduja, a soft salami typical of Spilinga, a small town in the province of Vibo Valentia. Prepared with the fatty parts of the pork and abundant Calabrian hot pepper, the ‘nduja is stuffed into the intestine and then smoked. Its particular creamy consistency makes it suitable for spreading on bread, but it can also be used as a condiment for pasta, to which it gives a strong flavor and savory. Just like in our recipe in which the sausage, cut into pieces, is melted in a sautéed onion and oil, then cooked with tomato puree: the result will be a thick gravy and creamy, to be completed with fresh basil leaves.

For the pasta we chose the spaghetti, but you can replace them with linguine, scialatielli, fusilli, rigatoni or penne. To counteract the greasy texture of the ‘nduja, we used one golden onion, finely chopped, which with its pungent taste has perfectly balanced the dish. If you prefer a sweeter base, you can opt for one Red onion, even better if from Tropea, emphasizing the territoriality of the dish. In this case, you can cut it into larger layers in order to make it visible and appreciate its texture.

Quick and easy, pasta with ‘nduja is perfect for a family lunch or a spaghetti meal with friends, organized even at the last minute: thanks to its unique flavor, it will make your guests’ taste buds explode. Find out how to prepare it by following the step by step procedure and advice. Also try the ‘nduja gnocchi and burrata stracciatella.

How to prepare pasta with ‘nduja

Clean the onion and slice it thinly 1.

Chop it with a knife until finely chopped 2.

Collect it in a large pan and brown it with a little oil 3.

In the meantime, cut the gut of the ‘nduja and discover the pulp (4).

Therefore, chop it roughly 5.

Add the chopped ‘nduja to the fried golden onion (6).

Cook a few minutes, stirring, making sure that the sausage is evenly distributed in the pan 7.

Pour the tomato puree, mix and bring to a boil 8.

Taste the seasoning and season with salt, bearing in mind that the ‘nduja is very tasty (9).

Allow the sauce to reduce over low heat until it is thick, creamy and resistant 10.

Chop some basil leaves with your hands and add them to the sauce 11then stir and set aside with the heat off.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for the cooking time indicated on the package 12.

Drain it al dente and add it to the pan along with the sauce 13.

Stir in to distribute the sauce evenly 14.

Serve the pasta with the ‘nduja hot (15).

History of ‘nduja

Nduja is a typical product of the Vibo Valentia area, in particular of Spilinga, where every year, on August 8, the ‘nduja festival takes place with tastings based on this tasty sausage. The name ‘nduja comes from andouille, a French word that defines a type of sausage with a soft texture. The ‘nduja was born as a poor dish: it was in fact prepared with the less noble parts of the pig, but today only the best parts are used and are mixed with salt and Calabrian chilli both sweet and spicy, which give flavor to the sausage and its typical red color. The mixture is then placed inside a pig gut: it will then be lightly smoked and left to mature for a few months. Once ready, ‘nduja is the queen of Calabrian appetizers, ideal to spread on croutons and bruschetta or to dress pasta.


It is advisable to prepare pasta with ‘nduja and enjoy it very hot at the moment.

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