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Ciao bello, as I say to the ‘nduja sausages hanging in our curing spaces. Such handsome racks of hanging pork deliciousness they are. Anyway, if you’re looking for an ‘nduja pasta dish recipe, we did one of those where we mixed and matched the best of the internet’s favourites until we came up with one recipe to rule them all. This isn’t that. This right here is all about sauce.
Why a recipe just for the sauce? Because people ask for it, of course. With ‘nduja sometimes known as ‘nduja paste, you might even see suggestions for ‘nduja cream sauce, and this is that. You might not want to make a whole dish, you might be looking to serve the sauce on something else, you might be jarring it for gifting, or for later. We don’t need your reasons. You want it, you got it.
This recipe produces a rich, clean, simple tomato sauce enriched with ‘nduja. You’re 100% going to taste the sausage and the spice, which is how it should be.
This sauce can be used all over the place. It’s a great pasta topper, it works for meatballs or pasta bakes. You could turn it into a pretty crazy tomato soup if you pulsed it up a bit, add to a risotto, or top grilled meat or fish with it. Or how about a twist on deliciously dirty fries? It’ll freeze nicely for a few months once you’ve made it.
This is a really simple base sauce. We want the ‘nduja to be prominent as our starting point. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. All of the usual suspects will go well here. Capers, olives or anchovies for a bit of saltiness. Loads of fresh herbs for a herbier tomato sauce. Pancetta for an additional meaty texture and a bit of smoke. Liquid smoke if you want the smokiness without the meat! Adding pork or beef mince will turn it into a pretty decent quick ragu too.
Has to be Italian red, doesn’t it? Primitivo (aka Zinfandel), Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Sangiovese, Negroamaro, Nero d’Avola all work well. Check out Wine Folly’s pasta and wine guide for a great run down. https://winefolly.com/wine-pairing/on-pairing-wine-with-pasta/