New York City chef Andrew Carmellini uses Calabrian nduja, the spicy, spreadable sausage, to bring loads of delicious heat and flavor to his carbonara. I never knew of Chef Carmellini, but he’s published two cookbooks – Urban Italian in 2008, and American Flavor in 2015.
I spotted this Calabrian Carbonara recipe from Food & Wine online, and because of my love of nduja, pronounce in-doo-ya, I just had to make this!
I’ve used nduja in one pasta dish on this blog – a creamy lemon pappardelle with nduja – where the nduja really stands out. Although I see many recipes of nduja added to red sauces, I’ve resisted doing that. I just feel that one should be able to taste the nduja , as in this recipe.
6 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces nduja
Dried oregano, for sprinkling
In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the whole egg and 1/2 cup of grated cheese.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al denote. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the nduja and cook over moderate heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until the fat is rendered, about 3 to 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss the hot pasta with the nduja. Add the egg mixture and the reserved pasta cooking water and toss aggressively until the pasta is coated in a creamy sauce, about 1 minute.
Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the pasta to shallow bowls or a platter and sprinkle with dried oregano.
Serve, passing more cheese at the table. I also served cayenne pepper flakes and whole Calabrian peppers.
I just watched Stanley Tucci’s latest episode and he featured ndujo. I wanted to make something using this ingredient and now I have a recipe thanks to you. Where did you buy your ndujo?
I get mine from Igourmet, Murrays, DiBruno Bros., just about any gourmet shop. It’s really a wonderful product.
This looks so full of flavor Mimi! A dish that will be craved!
I’m already craving it again!
Hi Mimi, I don’t know if you are aware of an Italian-American couple that make up pasta grammar on youtube. Eva, from Calabria, and Harper, from different parts of the USA usually celebrate Italian cuisine and have apparently succeeded to make a business of guided tours to Italy along with the online presence on multiple channels. Eva is an accomplished cook and pasta maker, but above all, she loves Calabria. That said, she makes Nguja from scratch. Check out this link for more info and I hope you enjoy this :-)
Oh my goodness, I didn’t know about these two! What fun! Thank you for the link!!!
I love the stuff and am lucky to find a local variety at our Whole Foods. Now I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks, Mimi!
Oh good! I have a Whole Foods 80 miles away. So it’s not easy to get to… but I love it!
How funny! My sister and brother in law are both in calabria right now! This sounds wonderful!
Oh I’m so jealous! I haven’t been… so many more regions of Italy to visit…
As you know, I love my traditional carbonara, but I’m willing to forgo tradition for this! I think ‘nduja is one of the foods of the gods!
It is! That sums it up! Fabulous stuff. Traditional carbonara is wonderful as well…..
OMG – made this (finally) for dinner the other night. Just fabulous! I found ‘nduja at World Market of all places, and another brand at a local gourmet store. This will become a regula for us, as long as we can get the ‘nduja! Thank you so much for this recipe!
Well, there’s always Amazon! Glad you enjoyed it!
I haven’t made carbonara in years….and now I’m intrigued by your recipe. Nduja is new to me and this yummy pasta will be a great way to experience a new ingredient!!
It’s a perfect way to enjoy it, besides slathering it on bread. Hope you find some!
Haven’t made or had carbonara in a really long while and this has me crave some right now!
Shame on you! (Kidding.) It’s certainly not great if you have a cholesterol issue…
I’ve never had nduja, but you’ve sure got me curious about it!
Oh, you’ve got to try it. First just put some on a charcuterie and cheese platter, and spread on good bread. You’ll love it!
I agree nduja is wasted in heavy sauces. This looks so tasty and rich – I would probably need to take a nap after eating! :)
I’m glad you agree – I just think it’s a waste of something so delightful!
i recently watched a youtuber make carbonara; he was scathing about cooks adding cream :) So funny. Of course your recipe doesn’t make this hideous mistake – hehehe!
Oh goodness. That’s so wrong!
Nduja is a great compliment to many dishes. I do like that’s been added to this Carbonara. Not something I’ve thought of or done myself before. What a taste sensation!
I love nduja all by itself, but don’t mind adding it to recipes like this, where it highlights the dish. It’s just so wonderful!
I love Carbonara and this recipe looks absolutely delicious! I’ve never tried nduja and you have definitely peaked my interest! Thanks so much for this inspiration, Mimi!
It’s a fabulous food, especially just spread on warm bread. Hope you can find some!
It looks so good that I could dig right in. I do love pasta but not really good on the heat.
Ohhhh, well you probably shouldn’t make this!!!
Fantastic! Always, ready for a good carbonara recipe. Thanks for sharing.
the traditional recipe is wonderful, but this adds some extra zing to the pasta!
Mimi, what a tasty way to make carbonara! It looks fabulous! I have Urban Italian cookbook on my shelf – a good book.
Oh, good to know! I should get it.
I’ve never tried or even seen a recipe with ndujo until your blog. This gives me a wonderful reason to try something new. I’ll have to look around at a couple gourmet shops here in Kansas City to find it. This pasta dish sounds amazing. Thanks for always sharing such interesting recipes.
Oh, so sweet! You should be able to find it, maybe even at a Whole Foods. Try it on warm bread first. It’s fabulous on a charcuterie board and with cheese.
Calabrian nduja is such a lovely addition to this pasta which in fact looks terrific and sounds ultra tasty. You also styled spaghetti so beautifully – I always struggle plating it!
Aww thanks! I really don’t do much. I’ just not patient enough for styling!
What a rich and satisfying dish, Mimi. I have already visualized the dinner I will prepare for my son and daughter-in-law when they next visit! They frequently include sausages in their recipes, and I might be able to surprise them with something new to try!
Oh fabulous! So happy to help!!!
What a neat way to use nduja! Love the stuff, and don’t use it nearly as often as I should. This is really, really good — thanks.
You’ll love this recipe if you already love nduja. Honestly, though, I could just eat it on warm bread all the time and be happy.
My kind of comfort food!
That indeed looks really tasty, I love this recipe, definitely its a great comfort food
It is so tasty – full of flavor – and definitely fits into the comfort food category!
This carbonara looks and sounds so delicious!
Thanks, Nancy! It was really good.
What a delicious looking and flavorful sounding plate of pasta. I’ve heard of nduja but have never had it.
This recipe sounds amazing! A spicy, spreadable sausage?? How delicious. I haven’t cooked with Nduja before, but I’m going to now. :-) ~Valentina
The best way to experience is to not cook with it. Just add it to a charcuterie platter and spread it on warm bread…
I don’t eat carbonara much but I love it. I’ve never heard of nduja, but it sounds fabulous! I’m sure it elevates carbonara to the next level.
I hope you can find some to try it! It’s tasty and spicy.