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'Nduja sauce recipe

by Alex Mugan on July 31, 2021

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.

The recipe

Serves 4


  • 150g ‘nduja
  • 1 x tin chopped tomatoes/ cherry tomatoes/ plum tomatoes
  • 1 x tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 x garlic cloves
  • 1 x medium onion
  • 1 x tbsp chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley) in a mix, or pick your favourite/s
  • 1 x tsp sugar
  • 175ml red wine
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Finely chop the onion and soften it in the pan
  2. Add the ‘nduja and fry it, moving it pretty often so it doesn’t stick or burn
  3. Add the wine, garlic (crushed or finely chopped) and tomato puree and simmer until the alcohol evaporates
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes, sugar and the herbs. Fill the empty tomato can with water and throw that in too.
  5. Reduce it gently to a good sauce consistency, check the seasoning and that’s that.

Make it your own

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.

Drink with it

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/

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