There are very few dishes — or moments — that can’t be improved by the addition of fat, salt, and heat, which may explain the popularity of nduja, a spicy, almost violently red pork salumi popping up on menus everywhere. Here's how to make you own.
I am an absolute fool for a good charcuterie board, and enjoy all of their offerings, from the super-hard salumi to the spreadable and whipped liver mousse. But there is something special about a terrine which, at its best, is a harmonious amalgamation of flavours, textures and (of course) meats.
Though nduja can be found at some delis and grocery stores, it’s not exactly ubiquitous in Australia. So it’s probably easier to make your own. Now, “making your own,” can mean two things: you can go the full fermenting-raw-pork route, or you can be like me, and cheat your way to porky, salty, fatty goodness.
To create this fiery, fatty approximation, I use Calabrese for that signature sausage tang, Prosciutto di Parma to give it a rich, nutty, aged quality, and Calabrian chiles for heat. To nduja it yourself, you will need:
60 grams of Calabrese salami
60 grams of Prosciutto di Parma
6 or 7 Calabrian chiles (you can find them jarred in oil)
2 tablespoons olive oil or, better yet, pork fat
Combine everything in a food processor and process until smooth and spreadable, then spread it on many things; it’s particularly good on crusty bread with spoonfuls of cooling ricotta. Beyond the charcuterie board, this stuff is also banging when scrambled into eggs, stirred into pasta sauce, or dolloped on top of pizza. I’ve also dipped pizza crusts into nduja, straight from the fridge, and it made me very happy.