Do you know the feeling like you have won the lottery when you discover an amazing new ingredient? There is this unrational thrill that a foodie gets when finding and loving a fab tasting new ingredient and my newest one is nduja, which I tasted here.
An email popped into my inbox inviting me to participate in a recipe competition using nduja, I of course agreed. Then came the dilemma, what to cook with it. I had a really busy week and about a day to think of something, get ingredients and to cook it and take some nice photos. The competition is stiff as the other food bloggers involved are great cooks and they all have serious DSLR cameras to take amazing photos with.
What is Nduja ?
Nduja is a spicy spreadable salami from Spilinga in Calabria and it is made of different parts of the pig with about 40% fat, sweet pepper and hot Calabrian pepper. The meat is ground and with spices and some salt and is stuffed into natural casing. This is then smoked for about a week and then left to dry for a few weeks.
The Calabrians like to eat nduja just spread on bread, with fusilli, in a tomato sauce, added to bean stews or soups. My inventive friends on twitter suggested these other ways, spread on top of a burger, and rubbing it on chicken for roasting.
Nduja melts when you heat it up so it is often used in pasta sauces, adding a bit of a spicy kick and the melted pig fat making everything taste extra delicious.
If you don’t fancy cooking with nduja yourself, you can always head over to the best Italian Restaurant in the City, L’Anima as Francesco is from Calabria and he serves a pasta dish with nduja.
Food Unearthed Recipe Challenge
For the challenge, I wanted to deviate from the traditional ways of using nduja and find a way of enjoying this without too much fuss. So I decided to make these delectable melt in your mouth spicy nduja palmiers with a hidden explosion of flavour. These canapes are really quick and easy to make and is an alternative to how nduja is traditionally used.
The competition is open for voting on Facebook , do have a look and please vote. Thanks.