Pasta With Nduja, Lemon, & Breadcrumbs

We left Italy five days ago, and last night was the first night that I actually slept all night long. I do not know why, but I seem to suffer from jet lag much more coming from Italy than going to Italy. Unless you are getting a full night sleep, you just do not feel like yourself, so it is difficult to get involved in any new projects. Although I have been staying out of the kitchen since returning from Italy, we are busy trying to get both vegetables and flowers planted now that the weather has warmed. Both my husband and I love gardening, and we have a lot of work to do to get the house looking like ours. We’ll get there I am sure, and I am enjoying visiting local garden centers and choosing just the right plants for our property.

We had our family over for a Memorial Day barbecue yesterday, but that was the first real meal I’ve made since we returned from Italy. I did make this pasta dish twice before we left Italy and it will undoubtedly be one we often make in the future.

We love nduja, but if you are not familiar with it, nduja is a spicy, spreadable pork salumi from Calabria, Italy. It is made with parts of the pig such as the shoulder and belly, as well as tripe, roasted peppers and a mixture of spices. Nduja has a unique flavor, and although it is spicy, it is not overly spicy.

For me, it has just enough heat. I am always on the lookout for new recipes that include nduja, and when I came across this one from Delicious magazine that included lemon, nduja, and breadcrumbs, I had to give it a try.

I wasn’t sure how well the lemon would pair with the nduja, but it actually was delicious, as the lemon added a unique vibrancy to the dish. The rustic breadcrumbs added a lot of texture, which was delicious also.

I chose to use gemmeli pasta as it has a corkscrew kind of shape that holds sauce well, but you could use just about any pasta shape for this dish. For the breadcrumbs, you want coarse, rustic crumbs, so I use a couple of slices of stale Italian bread that I break up in my food processor.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Pasta With Nduja, Lemon, & Breadcrumbs

Pasta With Nduja, Lemon, & Breadcrumbs

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A spicy pasta dish with a vibrant lemon flavor.


  • 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 75 Grams Crumbled Nduja
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • Zest & Juice From 3 Medium Lemons
  • 1 1/2 Cups Coarse Breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • 3/4 Pound Pasta of Choice (See Notes Above)


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a low heat and add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, then cook for a minute. 
  2. Add the ’nduja, tomato paste, and half the parsley, then fry for 1-2 minutes.
  3. In a small frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil, add the breadcrumbs and fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until crisp and lightly browned, then set aside.
  4. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water until "al dente". 
  5. Drain, reserving a cupful of the cooking water, then add the pasta to the ’nduja mixture. 
  6. Set over a medium heat, then toss with a little of the pasta water.
  7. Season to taste, divide among bowls, sprinkle with the crunchy breadcrumbs and remaining parsley, and pass the grated Pecorino cheese at the table.


Adapted from Delicious magazine.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 577Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 489mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 6gSugar: 13gProtein: 15g

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