Nduja di Spilinga
On trend for the Italian food scene
Much has been made of nduja – it has taken over from burrata in its ubiquity and trendiness on the Italian food scene. It is described as a spreadable salami - in itself a difficult concept to get your mind round. When I first heard of it, I was expecting something chunky, but it is in fact more like a smooth red paste. It comes from the south of Italy, in Calabria, and is primarily made from ground pork mixed with fiery chilli peppers, giving it its heat and deep red colour.
How to pronounce it is also a problem. You can watch a You Tube video on this alone! I have heard it pronounced with the “j” spoken and by Italian friends with the “j” silent – Du-jah or Du-yah. Say it quickly and no-one will notice.
However this is a trend you do not want to miss out on. It is indispensable to have it in the fridge to spread on toasted ciabatta for instant crostini to serve with drinks. I would buy it for this alone. Or spread it on crackers with hard Italian cheeses for a simple lunch or cheese course. But it can also act like a chilli oil (only with more flavour) when you use it in an antipasto with burrata or mozzarella or with artichokes or grilled peppers.
It is fantastic used in pasta sauces - stir in a couple of tablespoons to transform a tomato sauce into a kind of instant arrabiata. The heat is not too strong but the flavour is much more interesting and the resulting colour is a lovely really deep red. Or (believe it or not) stir it into pasta with some white crabmeat, or add some tuna or prawns to a tomato and nduja sauce. It can be used in other ways too - add a tablespoon to the mixture for pork meatballs and serve them in the tomato and nduja sauce. It is also great added to the tomato base for a pizza with almost any topping. Pizza Express is even doing a Calabrian pizza with nduja – so you can see how it is getting everywhere!
Don't miss out.
Nduja di Spilinga
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