Maccarruni con la ‘Nduja
I don’t eat much meat but man, my addiction to ‘Nduja is a serious issue.
If you’ve never heard of it, you should. ‘Nduja is a specialty from Calabria, the region at the tip of Italy’s boot, and it’s a spreadable pork salami mixed with Calabria’s claim to fame throughout the rest of the country, fiery chili peppers.
What I love the most is that when you keep it at room temperature, the fat contained in it makes it become incredibly creamy and buttery, binding together the cured pork meat and the chilies.
It takes its strange name from a corruption of the word Andouille, a French sausage from which ‘Nduja was loosely based on from the 13th century, and it originates from the town of Spilinga in the Vibo Valentia province, where apparently every year they celebrate a town festival solely dedicated to the product ( Sagra della ‘Nduja, must be a dream!) This is not a product I grew up with, as I come from the North-East and there’s too few Calabrians living in my area, but in the last years ‘Nduja has become more and more popular, to the point that I now find it even in Norway (sometimes) . As soon as I tried it some years ago I knew I was HOOKED, and I never lose a chance to restock my ‘Nduja stash when I can.
Here I used it as a sauce for my Maccarruni, inspired from what one would easily find in Calabria, where they eat Fileja ( A pasta shape almost identical to Maccarruni) with ‘Nduja as a sauce. I also sprinkled some grated lemon zest on it.
Result: DIVINE. And also FIERY HOT ( seems like the chili truly activates once warmed up). The Maccarruni worked wonderfully, soaking up the ‘Nduja and hiding some of it inside the hollow centre, but I tell you, some people would say this dish is definitely not first date material 😁