Hands up who has heard of salami N'Duja? Well, fret ye not as you aren't alone. Until a few years ago, I hadn't heard of it either and if you know ANYTHING about me, you know I make it business to learn about Italian ingredients/produce of any kind, but none more so than salami.
So what makes this particular salami so special? Well (wait for it) this salami is spreadable! You read that right, SPREADABLE and it is absolutely divine. Packed with masses of fiery chillies from the southern most region of Italy, Calabria, this wonderful salami is so versatile and can be used in so many ways (stay tuned for more N'Duja recipes, because I won't be giving away ALL my secrets just yet!) but it is traditionally just spread on a simple crostino (or toasted bread) and enjoyed.
But where oh where can this fiery fabulous salami be found? Well, the picture above was taken from the 'De Calabria' stall at Borough Market but Melograno Deli in Notting Hill also sell in it a jar and to be honest most Italian delis and food markets are beginning to stock it either whole or in a jar so its well worth hunting down and it keeps perfectly well in an airtight container.
I've long been a fan of combining foods from land with foods of the sea. Think 'Surf n Turf' minus the hideously tacky label and instead revert to the almost musical-sounding Italian version 'Monte e Mare' - meaning 'Mountain and Sea' instead. This wonderful pasta dish was born out of pure laziness and simply utilising ingredients I had in the house and to amazing effect too, I might add and it takes virtually no time at all... so here is the recipe;
Spaghetti with Calabrian Salami N'Duja & Prawns (Serves 2-3)
250g Linguine (or Spaghetti)
200g shelled uncooked tiger prawns
150g salami N'Duja
400g tin of chopped tomatoes (the better the quality, the better the result!)
A handful of sunblush/slow roasted tomatoes **optional**
Maldon sea salt
Cook the pasta (per the packet instructions) until al dente. For the recipe, its best to undercook the pasta just a little because we want it to cook in the final sauce for a little so it really absorbs all that wonderful flavour. Once cooked, drain the pasta, rinse well with cold water and set aside. In the same cooking pot over a medium-high heat (or medium if using gas) drizzle just a little olive oil and then add the N'Duja salami and quickly stir it to prevent it burning. Once the salami is heating up, add the prawns and stir well til they are coated in the salami and beginning to turn pink almost completely then add the chopped tomatoes and sunblush/slow roasted tomatoes and mix all the ingredients together well and season with some Maldon sea salt. Not too much salt as with all the chilli, you won't really need to over salt the sauce.
Now add the pasta to the prawn, N'Duja and tomato mixture and give it a good mix with an extra slug of olive oil if needed. Cover with a lid for a few minutes to keep moisture in and finish cooking the pasta in the wonderful juices. Then remove the lid and give it a good stir for another minute or so and you are ready to serve! The sauce is not VERY fiery, but it certainly does pack a punch, thats for sure!