Nduja Pasta – Last Year’s Fetish is This Year’s Favourite.
Last year it seemed to me that every food writer in London was writing about Nduja. A spicy sausage from Calabria Italy that melts when you warm it up, there was, if I remember, a blogger supperclub where various luminaries of the blogosphere made something using Nduja. And, there were others who kept tweeting the amazing dishes they were making. You can bet nothing was quite as basic as my Nduja pasta, but I still had kitchen-envy in a big way!
- 75 g Dried Pasta of your choice
- 15 g Nduja Sausage
- 1 Shallot peeled and finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- 1/2 Lemon
- Flat leaved parsley Chopped
Prepare a pan of boiling water and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a small skillet and gently fry the shallot until soft.
Add the nduja, lemon juice and parsley and stir until the sausage is melted
Drain the pasta, reserving just a little of the cooking water
Stir in the Nduja sauce - adding a little cooking water back if the mixture is too dry.
Sit back and enjoy!
Meanwhile, in my kitchen in West London I was struggling to make muffins, bake bread and just fulfill a few culinary basics. All the while muttering ‘I’m a lifestyle writer not a food blogger and so I don’t NEED to do this stuff’.
Then, I won a fabulous hamper of foods from Unearthed, including a pack of the magic ingredient, and set about joining the Nduja club. My first attempt was actually the simplest – I’d read various posts suggesting that it worked very well as a pasta sauce with just a little lemon juice and fresh parsley. And even a lifestyle writer can cope with that!
A quick note, Italians will tell you that you should use the right ‘shape’ of pasta for your sauce. I believe these spirals are a good bet for a meat-based sauce but, any Italians reading this are welcome to correct my assumption!
Now, a pasta sauce is one of the commonest ways to use Nduja. But, it works and is incredibly comforting. It’s not particularly diet friendly, a normal size portion of pasta is about 75g dried weight and that alone will set you back 260 calories. And although you don’t need much Nduja the sauce will still add 100-150 calories, without giving you much in the way of protein. If you want a recipe that uses Nduja on a 5-2 fast day, then my Nduja topped cod is a great bet and gives you the protein that will help keep you feeling full along with a tomato and vegetable-rich sauce.
So, if like me, you are doing the 5-2 diet, Nduja Pasta is something best put to one side for a feast day!
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