Looking for ways to amp up your Italian-inspired meals? Discover the delicious secrets of a salty, spicy, and spreadable sausage that packs a punch full of flavor. Turn up the heat and learn more about the mouthwatering magic of ‘nduja.
What is ‘Nduja and How Is It Made?
Where Mexico has chorizo, Italy has ‘nduja. A highly spiced, salty, spicy pork sausage product, ‘nduja is pure magic. Its funky fermented flavor paired with deeply savory porkiness makes it totally versatile and crave-worthy. Flavored with another one of Southern Italy’s culinary gems, Calabrian chiles, ‘nduja is a common ingredient across all Italian cuisine.
You can find ‘nduja in a tube that can be sliced and spread or, in a jar to be scooped. Not just a log of tasty umami perfect for slathering on bread, ‘nduja can be used as a condiment almost anywhere you want complex, salty spiciness.
Like most types of salumi and sausage, ‘nduja is made from the scraps and extra fat that is offcut from other cuts of meat as a way to spice up the less than spectacular pieces. Making ‘nduja is an excellent way for butchers and farmers to utilize every part of the pig and make something delicious out of things that might otherwise go to waste.
Where To Find ‘Nduja
‘Nduja is having a moment, which is great news for the home cook because it’s easier than ever to find. Some extremely well-stocked grocery stores might have it in the meat section where you would find things like salami or prosciutto.
You’ll be able to find it at your local Italian specialty foods store or a particularly Italian-leaning butcher shop or deli. If not, several online retailers stock loads of different brands and types.
Just like salami or sausages, all brands have their own specific recipe based on the general guideline, so if you can, try out a few different brands and see which ones suit your tastes best.
How To Use ‘Nduja
You would be hard-pressed to find a meal that a little scoop of ‘nduja can’t improve. It can be dolloped onto a pizza before or after baking, and stirring a spoonful or two into pasta sauce is never the wrong choice. Because of its salty, spicy, and funky nature, ‘nduja loves creamy ingredients. Pair it with ricotta or burrata just as-is, or plop them both on a pizza. Swirl a couple of spoonfuls into creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.
A more unexpected way to integrate ‘nduja is to cook it down in a non-stick pan until it breaks and the oil separates from the meat. Then, you can use the oil as you would olive oil to saute veggies or start a sauce or drizzle on veggies before they get roasted in the oven to kick up the flavor.
For an unforgettable spread on a killer Italian hoagie, mix a scoop into mayo and generously slather on both sides of bread. A quick way to liven up breakfast is to swirl a scoop into scrambled eggs or dotted on top of fried eggs. ‘Nduja can also be used like chili oil or fish sauce — when heated ‘nduja can be loose enough to use as a condiment to bring some major heat and funky salinity in a small package.
Check out our complete collection of Italian Recipes.