Tips To Help Replicate 'Nduja Sausage If You Can't Find The Real Thing

If you've been lucky enough to travel around Southern Italy or have attended a handful of dinner parties, you may have come across one of our favorite meat dishes, 'nduja. 'Nduja (pronounced en-doo-ya) is a spicy and spreadable sausage perfect for easy appetizers (such as topping crackers or crispy baguette slices), adding a kick to homemade pasta sauce, or even topping fried eggs on toast. According to Olive Magazine, this dish is made from "pork, fat, herbs, spices and local Calabrian chiles." The site notes that these special chiles are what gives the unique spread its beautiful red hue and its iconic spicy kick.

However, if you've never been to Italy's Calabria region, you may not have heard of this delectable sausage before. And, sadly, it does not often have a spot on shelves in most North American grocery stores, so attempting to try some outside of Italy can be difficult. While this sausage is slightly similar to chorizo (both are fermented pork products), 'nduja is both softer and spicier, as per Fuss Free Flavours. So, chorizo is not a perfect substitute for those craving this delicacy.

That being said, it is possible to replicate this tasty meat dish at home. So, listen up if you want to wow your dinner guests with your next charcuterie spread.

Three tips to perfect your fake 'nduja

The first thing to keep in mind when attempting to replicate 'nduja is to find the perfect combination of meats to use. The best meat has little seasoning (this will allow the copycat seasoning to stand out better), is made of all-pork product, and is already quite soft. As per Serious Eats's recommendation, a combination of soft Genoa salami paired with a bit of harder pancetta seems to strike the perfect resemblance of both texture and taste. However, any minced pork product, especially salamis, can work well.

Another tip is to source Calabrian chiles, if possible. Either jarred or powdered, these chiles give the ideal amount of flavor and heat. A few grams of that plus plenty of smoked paprika is sure to be the unbeatable spice combo and obtain the correct coloring for this sausage product, as per Great British Chefs.

Finally, to achieve the ultimate silky texture, don't be afraid to add a few generous "glugs" of olive oil to your food processor when blending up the sausage. According to Sauce Magazine, 'nduja is already a very fatty product, which is why it is so smooth. Adding olive oil is sure to take your homemade version from a regular sausage product to an ideal 'nduja copycat.