Lemon Pappardelle with Nduja

Up until now, I’ve only used nduja on charcuterie platters – the wonderful spread that is so good on warm bread. That is, until I saw this recipe online.

If you aren’t familiar with nduja, it’s a spreadable pork sausage from southern Italy, spiced with Calabrian chile peppers. Nduja can be made from scratch, and maybe some day I will, but it’s so easy just to buy a tube. How to pronounce? In-doo-ya.

I have seen nduja included in red sauces, but in this recipe the nduja flavor is right there, not masked by anything else.

The recipe that got my attention is from Delicious Magazine – a really posh British cooking magazine that is also online. The actual name of the recipe is Sicilian pappardelle with nduja and crunchy breadcrumbs. In it, Sicilian lemons are recommended, but alas, there none to be found in Oklahoma. However, I did use Castelvetrano olives in this pasta, to make it a bit more Sicilian!

I wanted to include broccolini in this pasta for something green, but there wasn’t any at my local store. Frozen peas would work, or asparagus in the spring.

Sicilian Lemon Pappardelle with Nduja and Crunchy Breadcrumbs
Slightly adapted

30g/1 ounce unsalted butter
4 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Zest and juice of 3 lemons, plus wedges to serve
50g/2 ounces nduja, crumbled
Bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying
50g/2 ounces fresh white breadcrumbs
400g fresh papardelle (I used dried)
1/3 cup heavy cream
40g/2 ounces Parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
Castelvetrano olives, pitted, sliced lengthwise (optional)

Heat the butter in a large pan over a low heat and fry the shallots for 15 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, then cook for a minute.

Add the nduja and half the parsley, then fry for 1-2 minutes.

In a small frying pan, heat a glug of olive oil, add the breadcrumbs and fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until crisp. Set aside.

Cook the pappardelle according to package directions. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water, then add the pasta to the nduja mixture. Set over a medium heat, then toss with a splash of the pasta water, cream, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the Parmesan.

Season to taste and divide among bowls or place in large serving bowl. Add the olives, if using, then sprinkle with the crunchy breadcrumbs and remaining parsley.

Serve with lemon wedges and extra Parmesan.

I also served the pasta with the Calabrian peppers for some extra heat!

note: Not all of my grams to ounces calibrations are correct. The ounces are what I actually used.

By Published On: September 23rd, 202149 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

49 Comments

  1. popsiclesociety September 23, 2021 at 7:02 AM - Reply

    A great combination 😋 Using nduja is almost like having a ready to go pasta sauce 😉 It looks delicious 😋 Calabrian chile peppers are really hot🌶 😉

    • chef mimi September 23, 2021 at 7:15 AM - Reply

      Yes, it’s so lovely and flavorful! I loved this combination.

  2. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen September 23, 2021 at 7:25 AM - Reply

    This is a beautiful looking plate of food Mimi!

    • chef mimi September 23, 2021 at 8:03 AM - Reply

      Thanks! It was so good I can’t wait to have it again.

  3. Cynthia September 23, 2021 at 8:15 AM - Reply

    That sounds wonderful! I’ve never heard of it, but now I can’t wait to try it!

    • chef mimi September 23, 2021 at 8:16 AM - Reply

      Oh it’s wonderful. Sort of like a spicy ground up prosciutto. Great on charcuterie boards.

  4. Bernadette September 23, 2021 at 9:54 AM - Reply

    Mimi, I had a package of Nduja in the refrigerator and two Sicilian eggplants. Your post inspired dinner tonight😍

    • chef mimi September 23, 2021 at 3:06 PM - Reply

      Mmmmm. I bet that will be wonderful!

  5. angiesrecipes September 23, 2021 at 11:07 AM - Reply

    It looks delightful! I would love mine with extra Parmesan, please :-)

    • chef mimi September 23, 2021 at 3:06 PM - Reply

      Always!

  6. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats September 23, 2021 at 12:03 PM - Reply

    This is a new ingredient for me. It sounds very interesting. I’ll be looking for it.

    • chef mimi September 23, 2021 at 3:06 PM - Reply

      I’m surprised! But, you’re welcome!!!

      • Ronit Penso Tasty Eats September 23, 2021 at 3:23 PM

        “Nobody’s perfect!” :D

      • chef mimi September 23, 2021 at 3:24 PM

        Nobody’s perfect. But nobody can know it all, which is exactly why I love blogging!

      • Ronit Penso Tasty Eats September 23, 2021 at 5:47 PM

        Couldn’t agree more. :)

  7. Linda Duffin September 24, 2021 at 6:01 AM - Reply

    That’s a really lovely recipe, Mimi. If only my husband (*sigh*) liked pasta.

    • chef mimi September 24, 2021 at 6:45 AM - Reply

      That’s maybe the weirdest thing yet. Beets, liver, vinegar, eggplant….. but pasta?!!!!

      • Linda Duffin September 24, 2021 at 7:18 AM

        It’s a textural thing. I just cook stuff now and again that works with either pasta or potatoes. We eat a lot of meatballs! :D

  8. For the Love of Cooking September 24, 2021 at 11:42 AM - Reply

    I’ve never had nduja before but I have a feeling I would like it. This pasta look delicious!

    • chef mimi September 24, 2021 at 11:48 AM - Reply

      Oh, you would. It’s like spicy, ground up prosciutto.

  9. Ann Coleman September 24, 2021 at 1:42 PM - Reply

    I’ve never heard of Nduja but that pasta dish looks delicious!

    • chef mimi September 24, 2021 at 1:48 PM - Reply

      It’s delicious. Hope you can find some!

  10. David Scott Allen September 25, 2021 at 3:52 AM - Reply

    I had a weird premonition the other day. I was downtown and was suddenly being pulled to stop at Time Market to pick up some nduja. Silly me fought the urge. I should have known you would have a fantastic recipe that included nduja today…

    • chef mimi September 25, 2021 at 6:38 AM - Reply

      Aww. Well it’s good stuff, but I love how it’s used in this recipe. I still don’t think I’d “waste” it in a red sauce, but maybe that’s wrong. It’s just so good on its own.

      • David Scott Allen September 25, 2021 at 9:17 AM

        I also have a Calabrian-style shrimp dish with nduja and tomatoes… might be worth a go. Yours first, though! Those flavors!

      • chef mimi September 25, 2021 at 9:23 AM

        Oooooohhhhhhh that sounds wonderful.

  11. Ben Maclain|Havocinthekitchen September 25, 2021 at 6:50 PM - Reply

    I’ve never tried nor herd of nduja, but your description sounds delicious. I think you found an excellent way to utilize it. Great combination of flavours and textures – so hearty and inviting!

    • chef mimi September 25, 2021 at 8:20 PM - Reply

      It’s wonderful stuff. I’m sure you can find it!

  12. Valentina September 25, 2021 at 8:21 PM - Reply

    My absolute favorite thing about reading recipes on sites I love is learning about an food/ingredient or dish that I’ve never heard of. Nduja is one of them. I’m excited to try it, and then the pasta dish. And maybe it’s odd to have a favorite shape of pasta, but mine in hands down Pappardelle. :-D ~Valentina

    • chef mimi September 29, 2021 at 9:59 AM - Reply

      I agree – I learn so much from blogs! You can never know it all. This is really good to know about, if you do nothing else then serve it with other charcuterie. It’s not hard to find, either. I like pappardelle too! Also bucatini…

  13. thatskinnychickcanbake September 26, 2021 at 7:40 AM - Reply

    Ooh, thanks for introducing me to nduja! Nice to know it can serve double duty!!! The pasta sounds fabulous.

    • chef mimi September 26, 2021 at 8:10 AM - Reply

      It’s good stuff!

  14. 2pots2cook September 26, 2021 at 9:59 AM - Reply

    Beautiful to prepare pasta this way ! Sobrasada paste works great too !!! Thank you so much !

    • chef mimi September 26, 2021 at 4:48 PM - Reply

      Oh I bet it does! I’ve ground up prosciutto with an herb butter before to spread on bread, and that would be good, also!

  15. sherry September 26, 2021 at 10:57 PM - Reply

    hi mimi
    i just have to say that while yes there is a UK version of Delicious mag, it is in fact an australian magazine! Your recipe sounds very tasty with lots of wonderful flavours!

    • chef mimi September 27, 2021 at 6:12 AM - Reply

      Oh interesting! I wonder why I’ve only seen the UK version, when I’m not even in the UK!

  16. StefanGourmet September 27, 2021 at 2:17 AM - Reply

    When we were in Calabria we noticed they put chillies in just about everything (Calabrian pancetta? With chillies. Calabrian coppa? With chillies.) ‘Nduja is everywhere, too. I’m trying to imagine what this tastes like with all that lemon juice. It accentuates the hotness I would expect. I’m curious if this is based on a Calabrian dish.

    • chef mimi September 27, 2021 at 6:18 AM - Reply

      I have no idea. I just thought it was a wonderful way to use nduja. Interesting that they stick Calabrian peppers in the charcuterie. I didn’t find this pasta hot at all. It was more of a flavor to me, comparable to having a little bacon in the pasta. Really good.

      • StefanGourmet September 27, 2021 at 11:49 AM

        That could be the relatively small amount of ‘nduja compared to the amount of pasta, because by itself it is fiery hot (at least the ‘nduja I had in Calabria).

  17. Jean | Delightful Repast September 27, 2021 at 7:24 AM - Reply

    Mimi, this looks delightful! Nduja was new to me, so I’m glad you told us how it is pronounced. I occasionally make a spreadable pork sausage from my husband’s French Canadian heritage. It’s called Cretons (pronounced kreh-tohn)—no chili peppers, though!

    • chef mimi September 27, 2021 at 7:41 AM - Reply

      It’s all good, isn’t it?! All of it.

  18. Jeff the Chef September 27, 2021 at 10:51 PM - Reply

    Awesome! I see that you got the nduja from Salumi. I’ve been wanting to check that place out. It’s just across town from me. Now I REALLY want to go!

    • chef mimi September 28, 2021 at 6:48 AM - Reply

      Oh, you’re so lucky! I actually got it via IGourmet, I think. Good stuff!

  19. Tandy | Lavender and Lime September 28, 2021 at 2:32 AM - Reply

    Oh yum! Dave and I bought nduja back from Calabria for a friend, and we also brought back fresh Calabrian chillies. I still have some dried ones hanging in my kitchen. They are super hot.

    • chef mimi September 28, 2021 at 6:49 AM - Reply

      I bought the jar of chiles, but didn’t like them because they were mostly peels. I’m not a fan of peels! Maybe I can grow them?

  20. Roz October 5, 2021 at 5:07 PM - Reply

    I love the way Sicilians prepare pasta with the breadcrumbs! I’m familiar with nduja but have never prepared any recipe with it. This post is the kind that I love in that it’s more than a recpe, it’s an education! I’d love to prepare this someday, Mimi! Happy Autumn!
    Roz

    • chef mimi October 9, 2021 at 4:45 PM - Reply

      I hope you get to make this recipe Ross. It’s very good. Actually it’s outstanding!

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