Practically unknown until recently outside the Italian region of Calabria, ‘nduja is now catching hold among lovers of spicy food. If you do manage to get your hands on some of this fiery, spreadable insaccato, make this dish without delay. And although, like Salmon (who seems, incidentally – note to picture editor – to have been rejuvenating his barnet) you may have to deploy the fire extinguisher, trust your cartoon kitchen crew: it’s worth it.
Pasta al pomodoro, pecorino e ‘nduja
Start by making a soffritto with 2 tbsp olive oil and a small, finely chopped onion (preferably red, ideally from Tropea). Sweat (the onion) briefly then add 40–50g of ‘nduja. Fry for a minute or two then add 350g passata and season. Cook for 10–15min over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile select and cook your pasta: our favourite for this dish is rigatoni, but penne or bucatini would be fine. Drain one minute before the al dente cooking recommended time; quickly toss in the sauce, mix well and hit with a handful of grated semi-hard pecorino cheese – this, too, from Calabria if you can find it.
Guess what? Having viewed the whole enterprise with some suspicion, for Salmon and Fidget it turned out to be an all-round paw-licking success: more soon, please, Trota! Thank you also to restauranteurs Carmela, Antonio and the girls for introducing us to this Calabrian delicacy. Una vera leccornia.