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'Nduja pesto recipe

by Alex Mugan on July 31, 2021

Now this is a very good idea. Hats off to the big manufacturer popularising it, but now you’ve heard of it, why not make your own ‘nduja pesto?

I haven’t got a reason why not. In fact, I have a very good reason why yes, and here it is:

Tomato Puree, Sunflower Seed Oil, 'Nduja (11%) (Pork, Chilli Pepper, Salt), Medium Fat Hard Cheese (Milk), Cashew Nuts, Basil, Red Peppers, Pepper Flakes, Potato Flakes, Acidity Regulator: Lactic Acid, Salt, Dried Chilli Pepper, Wine Vinegar, Natural Flavouring, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Spices

Yes, that’s what’s in your shop-bought ‘nduja pesto. Nothing sinister or anything like that, I’d happily eat it if it were in my cupboard. If you had a nice hunk of proper ‘nduja to hand, though, you know you could do better than 11%, plus potato flakes, medium fat hard cheese and cashew nuts. For that reason, here’s the recipe for a homemade ‘nduja pesto that will bring tears to the eyes of your bruschetta, or toast.

The recipe

Makes 300g


  • 2tbsp Tomato puree
  • 50ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 80g ‘Nduja
  • 30g Parmesan cheese
  • 50g Basil
  • 80g Roasted red peppers
  • 30g Pine nuts
  • 6 Cloves of roast garlic
  • 25ml White wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Seal in a jar, with a layer of oil on top to keep it in good condition. Eat it within a week or so, if not all at once.

And now, what to do with it?

Starting with the obvious, given ‘nduja works so well alone spread on toast, you can spread away on bruschetta or toast for something more complex. Not in the mood for using the toaster? No problem, use your ‘nduja as a dip for breadsticks. Stir it through pasta, spoon into sauce or ragu. If the toaster is back in favour, why not put your pesto and grated cheese on a slice, then grill it to create a savoury, spicy, cheesy, oozing slab of something to remember?

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