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Eat This Word: ‘Nduja

Emily Abrams

August 18, 2015

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WHAT? Nestled at the “toe of the boot,” Calabria, Italy, is surrounded by crystal clear water and blanketed with rocky coasts, sandy beaches, and copious amounts of local agriculture. While Calabria has long been notorious for the ‘Ndrangheta mafia, it’s also the birthplace of ‘nduja: a spicy, spreadable salami, made with ground pork and red Calabrian chile peppers. Originating from a tiny village named Spilinga, the pigs destined for 'nduja are raised in a summery climate, and fed a diet of mostly acorns, grains, chestnuts, beets, and pumpkins. The time-honored process of making ‘nduja, one of the region's most cherished foods, begins with mixing the hand-ground pork trimmings together with salt and the chile peppers, and then kneading the combination into a smooth paste. The pork is then stuffed into a natural casing, briefly smoked, and then aged for months.  

‘Nduja tends to be on the spicy side, so combine it with a spoonful of ricotta cheese for a milder bite. This spreadable delight can be added to pasta sauce, smeared on a crunchy slice of baguette, or used to augment braised or grilled meat. For the ultimate treat, spread some on pizza to add a bold, spicy, and meaty flavor. 

WHERE? Phoenix Chowdown​

WHEN? Thursday, August 20, 2015      

                                                                                                   

HOW?  'Nduja with Burrata, Fava Beans, Roquette, Katz Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Basil