The first time I had a chance to taste the ‘Nduja I was in the Army, one of my colleagues, who was originally from Calabria, every time he was going home on a leave he was always brought back this spicy, incredible salami.
At first, I was finding it too hot for my palate but once you get used to the spiciness you can finally appreciate the intense flavor and delicious taste this salami has to offer.
Even if you’re not from that region, once you taste it, you can almost feel the warmth of the sun in a Summer day, intense and sometimes too hot all over your body, but you can never get enough of it anyway.I didn’t eat ‘Nduja for a long time ‘till a few years ago when I had a chance to work with a Calabrian girl who made me rediscover the amazing salami.
As we all Italians used to do, every time we go visit our families, we bring back some of our traditional products and believe me, north to south the varieties it’s huge.
I remember the day she came back from holidays, she brought back the ‘Nduja with a bag of fennel seeds, which I discovered are often used in traditional dishes mixed with this spicy salami.
As I’d love to cook traditional dishes, let’s say, with a modern touch, here’s my “Calabrian” recipe which I recently took in an event in north London, if you miss it here’s your chance to try it.
Ingredients for serving 4 people:
For the Trofie pasta
300gr of 00 flour
150gr of warm water
1 pinch of salt
Place the flour on a wooden pastry board, pour half of the water in the center, a pinch of salt, and start kneading by slowly incorporating all the water until a smooth and homogeneous mixture is obtained.
Wrap the dough in a clean cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.
After the necessary time, pick up the dough again and knead it again for a couple of minutes.
Tear a ball of dough and with the palm of your hand stretch it forward, always without removing the palm of the hand from the dough do the reverse movement but instead of vertically do it diagonally so as to obtain the classic twisted shape.
Repeat the process until the dough runs out.
Arrange on a tray sprinkled with flour ready for use.
For the ‘Nduja sauce
50gr spreadable ‘Nduja
250ml tomato sauce
100ml dry white wine
Spread the ‘Nduja on a saucepan, let it melt for few minutes and then add the white wine.
Let the alcohol evaporate and add the tomato sauce, let it cook at gentle heat ‘till the sauce is thickening, if it’s getting to dry add some boiling water.
For the gorgonzola foam
300gr of sweet gorgonzola
200ml of single cream
1 pinch of salt
In a saucepan, heat the cream, add a pinch of salt and dip the sweet gorgonzola, melt over medium heat, stirring constantly without ever bringing to a boil.
Once a smooth and creamy mixture is obtained, fill a 500ml siphon and load with 2 loads of gas, shake and put in the fridge for at least three hours.
For the toasted breadcrumbs
25gr of breadcrumbs
2gr of fennel seeds
1 pinch of salt
Grind the fennel seeds in the mortar, add it to the breadcrumbs and toast them in a saucepan ‘till gets brownish.
For the presentation (one portion)
Cook the Trofie in plentiful salted water, toss them in the sauce, and mix well.
Using a large brush draw a line across the plate and sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs to cover it, make it even.
Using a large pasta ring place the Trofie in the middle of the plate, place knob of gorgonzola foam on top, and decorate with the micro basil.