Spaghetti with ‘Nduja, Prawns & Basil


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Spaghetti and sunshine, sausage and prawns, chilli and tomato. Add a little basil there like a spritz of perfume on your wrist before you go out, and you have a gorgeous plate to devour.

‘Nduja? A fridge essential? (Trust me) 

Yes, of course, I could live without it, but I absolutely choose not to while I have the choice. A soft and very spicy cured and spreadable Calabrian sausage, it is brilliant just as is spread on bread, toast or crackers. Try it with eggs, mix it through a tomato sauce for a porky arrabiata, spread it on top of some white fish just before it finishes cooking with an oregano and breadcrumb top for a gorgeous spicy crispy crunch.

Options are limitless and gorgeous.’Nduja is a terrific ingredient and makes an instant dish when mixed with something else. Almost anything else. It is one of those brilliant things, a good mixer, and I have yet to find something it doesn’t get on with. This sausage is that rare thing that loves everything, and it makes for quick cooking.

Meet My ‘Nduja Pig 

Like an aromatherapy burner except for sausage and happiness instead of essential oils and relaxation. You put some ‘nduja in top and it gently yields as it heats. You, having waited patiently-impatiently-patiently-burstingly-NOW, dip you bread in, or whatever you want to meet that ‘nduja. Sip of wine after. Deepest joy. 

Where to Source ‘Nduja? 

I recognise that sourcing is a little more complicated now, and I also want to support producers at this time, so I will include sourcing notes with recipes during the crisis. Please also check out my list Independent Food Producers and Shops Delivering Food During Covid19 in the UK. If you are a producer that would like to be on the list, please email me at hello @ UK and Ireland, I am especially keen to add details on Irish ‘nduja delivery, so please let me know if you know of any. 

‘Nduja is available both as a sausage and in a jar. 

Cobble Lane Cured make excellent charcuterie and pork products, including ‘nduja, and deliver UK wide for free over £25. I have bought their Survival Selection and would highly recommend it, it includes 100g ‘nduja.

Melbury & Appleton deliver lots of fantastic products including firey Italian ‘nduja, and catering size tins of wonderful San Marzano tomatoes (which I love and used anyway!).

Sous Chef sell Italian ‘nduja in the jar

What if I Can’t Get ‘Nduja? And a Note on the Recipe

‘Nduja can be very hot so if you are new to it, please check first. I find the Cobble Lane Cured one to be a bit milder than the classic Italian one. This is a gluten-free recipe if you use gluten-free pasta, and it is dairy-free too. 

Can’t get it? Use chorizo chopped small or even better whizzed in the blender. Sliced salami chopped fine would do well. And regular sausage removed from the skin and mashed with some chilli. 

Spaghetti with ‘Nduja, Prawns & Basil
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Spaghetti with ‘Nduja, Prawns & Basil


  • per person - multiply as required
  • 100g spaghetti
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp 'nduja - to taste, it can be quite hot so judge according to your tastes and how hot yours is
  • 200ml tomato passata or half a 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 100ml white wine (75ml water is fine if you don't have, or don't drink wine)
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey (I used soft brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar (cider vinegar, red or white wine vinegar will also do)
  • 150g raw prawns (defrosted if frozen)
  • torn basil leaves - approx 10-12 but to taste, if you love them, add more
  • olive oil


  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat and add the garlic. Stir for a minute, then add the 'nduja (remove the skin if there is any). Stir through, it should soften quickly. Then add the the wine, if using (if using water, don't add it yet). Reduce the wine by about a third, then add the tomato, vinegar and sugar (and add the water now if using that). Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to low and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Cook your pasta according to packet instructions in salted water. Yes, salted because dried pasta contains no salt and the nest way to season it is as it cooks.
  • Back to the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required. The 'nduja will have some salt so you may not need it. If the sauce is looking very thick, loosen it a little with some pasta cooking water as you add the pasta (and bear in mind there is salt in this too when you are seasoning). Add the prawns and cook until just pink, which just takes a few minutes. Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce with the basil.
  • Keep an eye on the pasta all the time. If it is ready and you are still working on the sauce, drain it and let it sit on the side in cold water to stop it over cooking.

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    Written by Niamh
    Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.