’Nduja is a specialty of Calabria in Italy, where eaters love chiles and anything spicy. Traditionally, this spread would have been made from "poor cuts” of preserved pork. A peasant dish, it was a way to save the toughest cuts with the right spices and a little ingenuity to turn them into something outstanding.
Enter La Quercia, American prosciutto makers in Norwalk, Iowa. Kathy and Herb Eckhouse have been making prosciutto from heritage breed hogs for nearly two decades now. Many (including myself) consider them to be among the finest makers of cured meats in the world. Herb and Kathy make their ’nduja from prosciutto and speck, the polar opposite of poor cuts. The meats are ground and blended with American red pepper to make a spreadable treat that spices up all sorts of dishes.
Toss a dollop with pasta, spread it on a burger, vegetables, or good crusty bread. Any dish that could use a little character is fair game. It’s spicy, but not terribly hot so go to town on it.
Like all La Quercia's meats, it's made from humanely raised hogs that never receive hormones or sub-theraputic antibiotics.
Serve at room temperature for maximum flavor.
"The spreadable salami is my favorite cook’s cheat. In a hot pan, it melts into a piquant oil that adds oomph, complexity and a bit of fire to all kinds of savory foods, from tomato sauce to vinaigrette. At room temperature, it can be smeared on good bread and served alongside a salad as dinner, or layered on grilled cheese, even a burger. The result rarely fails to raise the pulse rate. If Joan Jett were an Italian, and a sausage, she’d be ’nduja."
Jane Black, The Wall Street Journal