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« Pizza Making Class March 4th, 2018 | Main | Jam Pastries »

Pasta with 'Nduja, Kale and Toasted Breadcrumbs



Do you know about 'nduja?  If not, keep reading because this special Italian spread has become very popular and with good reason - it makes so many dishes even better.  'Nduja (pronounced "en-DOO-ya") originates out of Calabria, that region in Italy where all things spicy are loved. It is a sort of spreadable paste made out of pork, Calabrian peppers and various spices. You can spread it on bread or add it to sauces.  It adds not only a spicy kick but a terrific layer of flavor that is absolutely delicious. Once you have it in your fridge, you'll be adding it to all kinds of things. We made homemade pizza recently and I made myself a pizza of thinly sliced zucchini, red onion, grated pecorino and then put little dollops of 'nduja on top. It was terrific. My favorite thing is to add it into this pasta sauce recipe.  We love it.




There are several producers now of this spicy spread.  Whole Foods carries a version by La Quercia that contains prosciutto. It's terrific. I always have this in my fridge. Whole Foods stocks this in the cheese department.  I like this particular brand far better than other brands I have tasted. 



In this recipe, I'm combining my love of 'nduja with some wilted kale, tomato paste and crunchy toasted breadcrumbs.  The dish is delicious and easy to make. I hope you give it a try.  At least get some 'nduja and stick it in your fridge - you'll be adding it to things in no time.   

Learn how to make this homemade pasta shape called Garganelli here


Pasta with 'Nduja, Kale and Toasted Breadcrumbs

for a printable recipe, click here

serves 4 

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small red onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon red hot chili flakes (optional if you want extra spice)
1 cup packed chopped fresh kale
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
sea salt
3 ounces 'Nduja (spicy prosciutto spread)
3 heaping Tablespoons tomato paste
12 ounces pasta (any shape you like)
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese



Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and add the red onion and fry gently for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and fry a minute more.  Raise the heat a little and add the kale and chicken stock and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated (about 6 - 8 minutes or so).  

While the kale is simmering, in a separate small skillet, fry the breadcrumbs in 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil until crispy and golden brown, about 5 - 6 minutes. Add a large pinch of sea salt and blend. Set aside.




In the large skillet, add the 'nduja and tomato paste to the kale mixture and cook until the 'nduja dissolves, stirring frequently. Lower heat and keep warm.  

Meanwhile, cook the pasta just short of al dente.  Remove pasta with a handled strainer and place in the large skillet with the sauce, allowing some pasta water in the skillet.  Turn off heat. Add the bread crumbs and half the cheese and toss well until pasta is coated. Taste and add a little salt if needed.  Add a little more pasta water if the sauce is too thick.  Place in a large serving dish. Serve with the remainder of the cheese. 


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Reader Comments (9)

I can't wait to try this - we love spicy food and this ingredient sounds intriguing.

January 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMarta

I always learn new things from your posts! Thank you.

January 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKim

So I have heard of this ingredient but didn't really know what it was. I'm going to have to get some! Looks delicious.

January 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMary T.

I had nduja in a restaurant in Chicago and loved it. I never really though of cooking with it at home, but now I want to!

January 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCalvin

Another great post! I want to try this.

January 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTammy G.

I would have never known how to pronounce that word! I will have to get some.

January 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMaxine

Love this idea! And I DO have some nduja in my fridge already!

January 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

This was absolute deliciousness on a plate . . . and in the belly!! We hummed all the way through dinner tonight!

It took me three go-arounds at the cheese counter at the EL Whole Foods to find the Nduja; eventually spied it in a corner buried under blocks of Taleggio cheese and next to some outdated eggplant pate!

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJudy F.

From The Italian Dish:

Judy: That's awesome! So glad you liked it. Yes, you do have to do a little hunting to find the 'nduja at Whole Foods!

January 24, 2018 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

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