My husband’s father’s family is from Calabria, and they all like things very spicy. Although I do enjoy foods with a little heat, I cannot tolerate things as hot as my husband likes his food. This easy pasta dish has just enough spice to be interesting but is not too spicy so that everyone in the family can enjoy it. My husband recently came across an Italian recipe video online that used nduja, Gorgonzola mascarpone cheese, grappa, and a little cream to create a pasta sauce, and sent me the link so I could make this dish for him.
I was a little concerned after seeing the list of ingredients that the pasta might be too rich, but actually, the heat of the nduja gives the dish lots of flavor while the other ingredients meld together perfectly. I eliminated the grappa, and used both Gorgonzola cheese and mascarpone cheese since we do not have a cheese locally that contains both these cheeses in one. Not having the exact quantities of the ingredients, I played around with them until I achieved just the right taste.
You could add additional nduja if you prefer more heat, or decrease the amount if you do not like things very spicy. I found however, that the mascarpone and cream mellowed the heat of the chili peppers perfectly. I knew that I’d like this pasta dish, but I honestly never thought that it would be as good as it actually was. I can see that this pasta dish will become a family favorite and that I’ll be making it often in the future.
Nduja is a spicy, spreadable pork product from Calabria. It is typically made with parts of the pig, such as the shoulder and belly, along with roasted peppers and a mixture of spices. Although nduja was only found in Italy until recently, it is now made by some American companies. It can be found in specialty food stores as well as online. (See links below recipe)
We always have nduja in the refrigerator and enjoy it spread on grilled bread, tossed with hot pasta, or on pizza. Although nduja is spicy, it isn’t that hot, and in fact, even my grandkids enjoy it. You could use any type of pasta with this sauce, including long pasta such as spaghetti or linguini, as well as short pasta such as rigatoni or penne.
- 6 Ounces Gorgonzola Dolce
- 4 Ounces Mascarpone Cheese
- 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1/4 Cup Nduja, Cut Into Small Pieces
- 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Walnuts
- 1 Pound Dried Pasta
- Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- 2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Parsley Leaves
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- While the water is heating, place the Gorgonzola, mascarpone, cream, nduja, and walnuts in a small pot over medium heat.
- Whisk the sauce ingredients frequently and just bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and keep warm.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, then drain, reserving a small cup of the pasta water.
- Return the pasta to the pot, then pour the sauce over the pasta.
- Toss the pasta in the sauce, adding a little pasta water to thin the sauce as needed.
- Serve the pasta in individual bowls topped with some chopped parsley, offering the grated cheese at the table.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 465Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 15g