Friday, 28 February 2014

'Nduja Linguine - Pasta Sauce for grown-ups

The day I discovered 'nduja (en-doo-ya) was a very happy day indeed. There was a stage when every food writer/journo/blogger was banging on about it so I thought it's probably worth a try. It was worth many tries and I implore you to give it a go. 'Nduja is a spicy, spreadable sausage from Calabria, Italy, and it is made with potentially undesirable parts of a pig's head with a firey whack of chilli. You can buy it in chunks, wrapped in its casing,  (see left) and you can melt chunks of it in purpose made clay erm, melting devices, you can stuff rolled pork belly with it, make scotch eggs with it (I will be soon,) or you can do as I have done here, and very simply melt it in a pan and toss through some pasta. The flavour is unique and really quite punchy, a little goes quite a way.

Feeds one: This is a quick dish so start by getting your pasta on the boil, I like to use linguine, something about how it feels on my toungue, ooh err, I just love it, but use what you have. Gently fry half a finely chopped onion and a small minced clove of garlic in a little olive oil, in a medium saucepan and cook until nice and soft. Break off a thumb sized piece of 'nduja and push it round until it have broken up and melted, leaving you with vibrant red oil and tiny nuggets of pork. Drain the pasta when al dente and add to the 'nduja pan along with a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley, I like the freshness of it, although it's not essential. Mix the pasta and sauce really well and flop it into a bowl, topping with plenty of grated parmesan. In 8 or 9 minutes you have a bowl of pasta to be proud of, so twirl away and don't worry about the fact you're eating pig's head. 

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