Nduja, Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce

Hands down one of the best pasta sauce recipes I’ve developed! Nduja is a soft, spicy sausage from the region of Calabria in southern Italy. Flavour wise, it’s salty, smoky and a little funky (the good kind of funk!). It adds huge depth of flavour and transforms a classic tomato sauce into something special and incredibly delicious. You can find nduja in certain supermarkets, many Italian delicatessens and/or online.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Pasta


  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 200 g nduja, skin removed
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsps double concentrated tomato purée
  • 2 x 400 g tin good-quality crushed tomatoes
  • 400 ml water
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 15 g fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • To serve:
  • pasta of choice
  • grated parmigiano reggiano or grana padano


  1. Heat a splash of extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, around 5 minutes.
  2. Add the nduja, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. As it heats, it will begin to melt. Once softened, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the tomato purée and cook, stirring almost constantly, until it begins to darken and caramelise, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes, water and rosemary and season with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Stir to combine and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the fresh basil. Taste and adjust the salt level to your liking.
  7. To serve: when the sauce is almost ready, cook your pasta of choice in generously salted water until just short of al dente (1 to 2 minutes less than instructed on the package). Using a slotted spoon or spider (if using short pasta) or tongs (if using long pasta), transfer the cooked pasta to the sauce. Add a ladleful of the pasta cooking water and toss until the pasta is cooked through and the sauce nicely coats it. Divide between bowls, top with grated parmigiano reggiano or grana padano and serve!

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22 days ago

Third time I am making this recipe !! Really really delicious….. i make double portion and freeze so I always have ready to make amazing pasta dish 🙂 thank you so much for the recipe !

9 days ago
Reply to  Nathalie

It’s my absolute pleasure! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you love it 🙂