N’duja is an utter joy to behold so if you haven’t tried it before read on. Think spicy, think flavoursome, think n’duja. It’s an Italian soft, spreadable sausage style meat that is so versatile and has become more available over the last couple of years so look out for it in your local Italian delicatessan. I love it in simple pastas so give it a go! I use one from www.eatdrinkideas.co.uk who you can also find on a Saturday at the St Albans farmer’s market.
Ingredients- serves 4
Glug of olive oil
2 garlic cloves- crushed
1 banana shallot- finely sliced or chopped
2 tbsp n’duja (or more if you like it even spicier!)
8 vine ripened tomatoes
Small handful of flat leaf parsely- finely chopped
Salt and pepper
300g pasta such as fusilli
1. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a saucepan and pop in the banana shallot and garlic to cook for a couple of minutes until starting to soften. I love using banana shallot (which is not actually a shallot, but a cross between a shallot and an onion) to add a gentle sweetness but you can add a small onion if you prefer.
2. Take the equivalent of 2 tbsps of n’duja and stir into the pan. The heat will break the meat down and it will melt into the shallot and garlic. Remember that n’djua can be quite spicy so you can always add a bit more as you go but you can’t take it back out again! You can try a bit before you add it if you’re not sure how hot your n’duja is.
3. The tomatoes need their seeds removed before cutting into small chunks. I leave the skin on for an extra texture however you can take these off if you prefer. Add these to the pan along with the parsley and season to taste.
4. Simmer the sauce for around 45-60 minutes until thickened. Have a quick taste and you can add a little more n’duja at this stage if you want a bit more kick! Just before the sauce is ready, prepare the fusilli, drain well and stir through the sauce to coat each piece. I sprinkle a bit of extra parsley to serve along with parmesan.
N’duja- once you have discovered it you will wonder how you went all these years without it!