Fake/Faux 'Nduja

>> Monday, February 19, 2024

Another food recipe! Shout out to Beltex Meats who introduced us to 'Nduja a few years ago. While they do carry a different supplier's 'Nduja year 'round, my favorite is the one they make in house a couple of times per year. I remember they posted it on their IG account and I thought it sounded amazing. By the time we got there they only had a fist-sized piece left and we bought all of it. 

For the uninitiated, 'Nduja is a spicy, spreadable pork sausage from the region of Calabria in southern Italy. To me it's like a spreadable cross between salami and pepperoni. I was looking into making my own when I stumbled across this recipe for "fake" 'Nduja that sounded like it was super close to the real thing. We like to spread it on a slice of baguette, often with a slice of cheese. Add some of this to your next charcuterie board and you won't be disappointed.

The key ingredient for both real thing and this faux recipe is Calabrian hot red peppers. Those and the Fresno pepper may be the hardest things to find, but fortunately Calabrian hot red peppers can be found in specialty grocery stores and on Amazon. I had to substitute a red jalapeno for the Fresno pepper. 

Here's the recipe as I made it:

Yields about 1 1/2 cups 

200g (7 oz) Boars Head Genoa salami, cut into cubes 
110g (4 oz) Volpi chopped uncured pancetta 
48g Bob's Red Mill Sweet Cream Buttermilk Powder 
28g Paprika 
1 medium Fresno pepper (sub red jalapeno if you can't find Fresno peppers), stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 to 4 Calabrian hot red peppers in oil - drained, stemmed, chopped (start with 2, add more for more heat)
6g Kosher salt
1 -2T Olive oil (start with 1 and add another if needed)

  1. Add everything in a bowl and stir to roughly combine. You can also do this in your food processor, but I had a hard time getting the buttermilk powder mixed in uniformly. 
  2. Process in a food processor with a metal blade for about 30-40 seconds. If it seems too dry and crumbly, add a tablespoon of olive oil. It should resemble a coarse paste. You do not want it as smooth as a typical pate.
  3. Taste it and if you want more heat, add another Calabrian hot red pepper and process again to mix.
  4. Transfer to a small container and refrigerate to firm up.
Serve it with bread, crackers, and cheese. I've heard it's also great added to spaghetti sauce, but haven't tried that yet.