the recipe, how to eat it and the origin

The ‘nduja is a typical sausage of Spilinga, in Calabria, made with pork and spicy Calabrian pepper. Let’s find out the recipe, how to eat it and the nutritional values.

Originally from Spilinga, a small cmunicipality in the province of Vibo Valentia, the ‘ndujaor even said Duja, is a sausage known all over the world. It has a bright red colour, a creamy texture and a spicy and pungent taste. Today it is an ingredient also used in gourmet menu of starred restaurants, but its origin is extremely poor: it was born, in fact, in Calabrian peasant society from necessity to exploit every part of the pig.

L’origin of the name of the nduja of Spilinga is to be found in the Latin term I introduce and that is to introduce, which refers to the gesture of introducing the processed meat inside the gut. Let’s find out more about this precious sausage!

How is ‘nduja made? Recipe

Calabrian ‘nduja has a method of preparation very simplewhich is handed down from generation to generation. At the base of its recipe there is the spicy Calabrian chilli grown, harvested and dried naturally in the sun. The meat used for its realization is that of pig and more precisely the fattest parts. The report of chilli and meat is usually 1 a 2.


For the actual preparation, the dried chillies are taken, chopped and sieved mix together with meat (also minced) in huge cauldrons; then salt is added. At this point the compound comes bagged in the blind gut (i.e. in the upper part of the pig’s large intestine) and passed into thesmokehouse. In other words, the salami must be exposed to smoke for about ten days for about half an hour a day. Finally, the seasoning: before enjoying it, you must leave it for 3/5 months in a cool, dry place.

You can buy it ready-made (you can also find it online) or also try making it at homebut bear in mind that it is not a procedure for everyone, but only for those who have the time, manual skills and the place for drying and maturing the salami.

In summary, the ingredients of nduja are: 1 kg of minced pork, 30 g of fine salt and 450 g of dried hot peppers.

Preparation of nduja

Start grinding the meat very finely: you have to get one coarse cream. Add the dried and powdered hot peppers and the salt to the meat: go slowly and taste gradually, but bear in mind that the spiciness will lose its intensity a little during the seasoning.

Once the mixture has been mixed well, stuff it into the casing and leave it rest 12 hours before proceeding with smoking and drying.

Hang the ‘nduja in a special room (preferably with path) and take care to light a fire for at least half an hour for the first 10 days of smoking.

Bread and nduja
Bread and nduja

Nduja: conservation

Before enjoying it, after smoking, you have to wait for 3/5 months (depending on how fresh you like the salami).

The ‘nduja is without preservatives because chilli pepper, present in such high quantities, has antiseptic and antioxidant properties.

The sausages will keep for a couple of months. If you think you won’t be able to consume them in time, put them on vacuum packed or under fat: they will last up to a year!

Recipes with ‘nduja: how do you eat it?

Traditionally the ‘nduja comes dissolved in a saucepan rudimentary similar to an essence burner which has a hole inside which a candle is placed. Once melted, it is smeared on slices of toasted bread and enjoyed as is.

Today, however, it is also used for add taste with meat sauce, sauces and, why not, even on pizza! It is present in many appetizers such as stuffed eggs and its spicy and intense taste is also the basis of many tasty first and second courses of starred restaurants.

Our favorite recipe, however, remains that of pasta with ‘nduja: all you have to do is deprive it of its casing, make it toast in a pan and then add the drained pasta al dente (and, if necessary, a little cooking water). A first course delightful!

You can enrich the courgette flowers or the arancini with nduja, or insert it and use it to enrich one frittata otherwise anonymous. The only real limit is your imagination!

Heated nduja
Heated nduja

‘nduja: calories and properties

Per each teaspoon from the table of ‘nduja are countless 77 kcal (512 Kcal per 100 g), 7.57 g of fat, 0.33 g of carbohydrates and 1.84 g of protein.

The main ones nutritional properties of ‘nduja derive from the presence of chilli. The latter, in fact, is rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and group B, as well as mineral salts such as potassium and copper and lecithin. Thanks to these nutrients, it increases resistance to infections, fights diarrhea and improves blood circulation.

The origin of ‘nduja

The ‘nduja does not have a clear origin, as is the case for many preparations of peasant cuisine. The stories about his birth are lost in time, handed down orally from generation to generation, as well as the processing method.

What is known is that it arises from the need not to waste any of the pork. In fact, it seems that, after giving the landowners its most valuable parts, the peasants remained the waste such as stomach, spleen, lungs but also head and tongue. The first ‘nduja was obtained from these and from the union with the chilli pepper.
Since it is a sausage that can be kept for a long time, this preparation ensured the supply of entire families during the cold seasons.

The ‘nduja we eat today is not made with the entrails of the animal as in the past but rather with its fat part. Furthermore, a day totally dedicated to this important sausage has been established for several years: theAugust 8ththe day on which, every year, the ‘nduja festival is held in Spilinga.

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