Pasta With Nduja Meatball Sauce

I love adding nduja to any dish that I can. Nduja is a spicy, soft, spreadable salami. Nduja is typically made with parts of the pig, such as the shoulder and belly, as well as tripe, roasted peppers, and a mixture of spices. Although nduja is available in Italy, it is not so easy to find here in the United States. However, we discovered an excellent nduja product made by Tempesta and can be bought online on their website, or even through

Nduja is very flavorful, and although it has some heat, it isn’t too hot for most people. I often add nduja to my pasta sauces, pizza, or as a topping for bruschetta. In this dish, nduja is mixed into the meatballs, which gives them a lot of flavor. As the sauce simmers away, the nduja melts into the sauce, adding lots of additional flavor.

I served my sauce with meatballs on top of spaghetti, but you could use any pasta shape you prefer. Do not be alarmed that I do not brown the meatballs before I add them to the sauce. Cooking the meatballs completely in the sauce from raw creates excrediably tender, moist meatballs, which is a trick that I learned from my Italian Mother-in-law.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Pasta With Nduja Meatballs

Pasta With Nduja Meatballs

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Adding nduja, a spicy salami from Calabria into your meatballs adds lots of flavor.


For The Meatballs:

  • 1 Pound Ground Pork
  • 2 Slices White Bread, Crusts Removed, Torn Into Pieces
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 3 Ounces Nduja At Room Temperature
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese

For The Sauce:

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
  • 2 (400 gm) Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • 1 Pound Spaghetti
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese To Serve


  1. In a small bowl, add the bread and milk.
  2. Let sit for 10 minutes, then gently squeeze most of the milk from the bread.
  3. In a bowl, add the ground pork, moistened bread, nduja, egg, parsely, salt, pepper, and cheese.
  4. Use you hands to blend the mixture thoroughly.
  5. In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic, stirring constantly.
  6. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until onion is translucent.
  7. Add the tomatoes, paste, 1 cup water, oregano, salt and pepper.
  8. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then stir in the parsely and basil.
  9. Use moist hands to create golf ball sized meatballs, then gently drop into the sauce.
  10. Continue to make meatballs using up all of the meat mixture and dropping the meatballs in different areas of the sauce.
  11. Cook 15 minutes, then gently stir the sauce with a wooden spoon.
  12. Continue to cook the sauce for an additional 45 minutes.
  13. While the sauce is finishing up, heat a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  14. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until it is "al dente".
  15. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
  16. Scoop enough sauce to lightly coat the pasta tossing until it is well coated.
  17. Serve the pasta in individual bowl with a little additional sauce, and a few meatballs.
  18. Pass the grated cheese at the table.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 516Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 456mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g

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