|That colour? All fire and flavour|
It's not cheap-cheap, at about £3/100g, but fortunately that 100g goes an awfully long way, taking it into seriously good value territory. This stuff packs a punch, and since my supermarket started stocking it a several months ago, it's been creeping (or should I say barging - it doesn't hold back) into a lot of our food.
My introduction to it was through Niamh Shields' devilled egg recipe. I saw her recipe and that 'nduja was available at about the same time, and had to have a go. These are not the polite, mayonnaise-and-curry-powder devilled eggs you may remember. These, for want of a better word, have balls. The 'nduja melts at the application of a bit of heat and combines with the tomato, vinegar and egg yolks to a delectably sticky, more-ish paste, oozing firey hot oil across the bland egg whites. Utter bliss.
|Breakfast burrito with bloody mary|
|400g sausagemeat to 100g 'nduja is about the right proportions|
Scotch eggs have been having something of a renaissance over the last couple of years, and the end of September saw my twitter feed go nuts over the Ship Inn's second annual Scotch Egg Challenge. The challenge is only open to commercially available scotch eggs, so it wasn't that I wanted to enter, but it did occur to me that alongside the pickled scotch eggs, the black pudding scotch eggs, the quail scotch eggs and the chorizo scotch eggs there was definitely room for a 'nduja scotch egg. On its own, the 'nduja is too unstable when heated to be a good wrapping for an egg, and I thought the amount needed would be too overpowering a flavour, so I combined 100g 'nduja with 400g good quality sausagemeat for my eggs.
I coated them in a double layer of beaten egg and breadcrumbs, and then deep fried them until they were crunchy and a deep, appetising brown colour.
It was astonishing how well the 'nduja flavour carried through that amount of sausagemeat. I decided that those proportions were going to be my go-to for using it in future, unless I particularly wanted the unadulterated hit.
|I overcooked the eggs, but that is actually how Paul prefers them, so no loss.|
|Look at that glorious red oil oozing out.|
There was enough filling mixture to stuff 5 halves of pepper. We had two each which of course meant there was a half pepper leftover the next day for lunch. I boiled some rice (a mixture of Camargue red rice and wild rice that sounded very fancy but actually wasn't nice enough to buy again), chopped up the leftover stuffed pepper and stirred it through the rice with some datterini tomatoes and a bag of baby spinach leaves.
|One half stuffed pepper made lunch for two|
The flavour of the pepper stuffing started me thinking of meatballs. And as the weather has turned distinctly autumnal, it led my thoughts towards soup. A big pot of minestrone, thick with stelline, beans and vegetables, with balls of 'nduja-and-sausagemeat poached gently in it. The chilli-warmth worked its way through the whole pot of broth. Just perfect for Deb's Souper (soup, salad and sammie) Sundays.
|'Nduja meatball minestrone|