I have been aware of this fiery paste from Calabria, intriguingly named nduja for a while but only recently took the plunge and tried it. It certainly lives up to it’s spicy reputation; those who don’t like a fierce punch of red pepper might want to approach with caution but I have really enjoyed it. I find a little does go quite a long way and this recipe is a good place to start – the nduja is tempered beautifully by the soft, mild burrata (use a good mozzarella if you prefer) and diluting it further in a dressing just slightly lessens the heat. Of course, there is nothing at all to stop you from adding as much as you like.
For four as a starter or two for a light lunch
About 300g cherry tomatoes or a mix
30ml olive oil (or an oil of your preference)
30ml extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely diced
20g nduja (fresh if possible)
30ml sherry or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Handful of fresh basil
Slice the tomatoes thinly and lay on a platter or individual plates. Season well.
Heat the olive oil in a small pan and gently fry the shallots until softened but not coloured. Remove from the heat and add the nduja, whisking it in with the vinegar and sugar.
Add the rest of the oil.
Tear the burrata over the tomatoes and then spoon over the dressing. Cover with torn basil leaves and serve.
Adapted from a recipe in Olive Magazine.