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Quick ‘Nduja Pasta with Burrata

Aug 25, 2022 | 0 comments

If you’re after a quick, impressive pasta dish, you’ve found it. This ‘nduja pasta is topped with creamy burrata and is utterly addictive. It uses mainly store cupboard ingredients and comes together in just 15 minutes.

Spicy nduja pasta on a white plate with a ball of burrata on top.

Who doesn’t love a comforting bowl of pasta? There’s just something about the combination of rich tomatoes, spicy and funky ‘nduja and creamy burrata which is kind of unbeatable, especially on a grey day. A big bowl of this on the couch is basically my ideal Friday night!

If you’ve not tried ‘nduja before you’re in for a real treat. The spicy, spreadable Italian salami adds such a pop of flavour that takes a simple dish to a whole other level. I love it on pizzas, adding it to shakshuka or drizzling it over super smooth hummus.

And burrata, if you’ve not had it before, is basically a much creamier mozzarella. It looks like a mozzarella ball, but the inside is actually a very creamy mix of mozzarella and cream (stracciatella). It’s SUPER indulgent and to be honest, I sometimes find it a little TOO much. But the reason it works here is that the creamy centre melts into the sauce, making it even more delicious and it tempers down the spice of the ‘nduja.


The base of this sauce is actually pretty straightforward! You only need a handful of ingredients.

Ingredients for nduja pasta laid out on a grey marble background and labelled.
  • ‘Nduja. This is the spicy, spreadable salami from Italy that forms the wonderful, umami-rich base of the sauce. It’s made from pork and Calabrian chilli and it’s an incredible flavour bomb. It’s becoming more widely available – you should be able to find it in gourmet grocery stores or you can pick it up from Amazon. Belazu in the UK has even made a vegan ‘nduja which I’m very curious to try! If you can’t find ‘nduja, you could use chorizo – just chop it up into small cubes.
  • Tomato passata. Passata makes for the smoothest sauce, but you could use tinned crushed or plum tomatoes instead for a chunkier sauce.
  • Parmesan. Try to use a block of parmesan and grate it yourself – I find it cheaper to buy blocks rather than the pre-grated stuff and it tastes better too. Pre-grated parmesan is fine, but the anti-caking coating means it won’t melt properly into the sauce.
  • Pasta. I’m using fresh fettuccine, but you can use whatever pasta you like.

While I LOVE the creaminess burrata brings to the finished pasta, it is optional here. It can be tricky to find, so you could replace it with normal mozzarella instead.

How to make it

Get olive oil into a pan over medium heat, then add your garlic and a little salt. Cook, stirring, for a minute as the garlic starts to soften. At this point, go in with your ‘nduja paste. Use a large spatula or wooden spoon to kind of mash the ‘nduja down into the pan. The goal here is for it to dissolve into the garlicky oil. Once the ‘nduja has broken down, add the passata. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring until it starts to thicken up.

Cook your pasta in a big pot of well-salted water. Once your pasta is al dente (cooked, but still with a little bite to it), transfer the pasta straight from the pot into the pan with your ‘nduja sauce.

PRO TIP: The secret to a great pasta sauce is pasta cooking water! This starchy goodness helps to create a glossy sauce that will stick to every pasta strand. That’s why I never drain my pasta but transfer it straight into the sauce.

Add half a cup of pasta water to the pan and give everything a good toss with tongs or your spatula. Sprinkle over parmesan, toss again, and then you’re ready to serve.

Divide the pasta between serving plates, then top with the torn burrata (or mozzarella), fresh basil and a good grind of black pepper.

Got a question?

How spicy is ‘nduja?

‘Nduja definitely has a kick to it! If you’re worried, you can reduce the amount in the recipe. Cut it in half, so use about 1 heaped tablespoon.

What can I use instead of ‘nduja?

If you can’t find ‘nduja, you could use chorizo instead. Just chop it up into small pieces and cook it in the pan along with the garlic. The chorizo won’t dissolve into the sauce, but it’ll be delicious.

What type of pasta should I use?

I use fresh fettuccine in this recipe, but really, you could use whatever you like. Spaghetti, penne, rigatoni or even orzo would work well.

Can you freeze the sauce?

You sure can! I like to freeze it in zip-lock bags so I can flatten the sauce for easy storage. Then when you’re ready to make the pasta, just defrost the sauce in the pan. If you flatten it out, it’ll defrost super quickly.

Nduja pasta being pulled up by a fork from a large whie plate of pasta.

Like this recipe? Here are some more of my pasta favourites

If you make this recipe let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you think.

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Spicy nduja pasta with torn burrata ball on top with basil on a white plate with a gold fork.

Quick Spicy ‘Nduja Pasta with Burrata


If you’re after a quick, impressive pasta dish, you’ve found it. This ‘nduja pasta is topped with creamy burrata and is utterly addictive. It uses mainly store cupboard ingredients and comes together in just 15 minutes.



For the ‘nduja pasta – 

  • 400g/14oz pasta of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 50g/2oz ‘nduja
  • 2 x 400g/14oz tins of crushed or plum tomatoes (or passata/tomato puree)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

To serve (optional) –

  • 1 ball of burrata or buffalo mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon torn basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan


  1. Cook your pasta. Start by getting a big pot of well-salted water (add 2 tablespoons) over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add your pasta and cook until al dente (the pasta will be cooked with a little bite to it), according to the packet instructions.
  2. Make the spicy ‘nduja sauce. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium heat, then add the crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, until the garlic starts to soften. At this point, go in with the ‘nduja. You’re going to cook it down in garlicky oil to intensify the flavour. Using a large wooden spoon or spatula, press down on the ‘nduja, stirring it in the pan. The goal is for the ‘nduja to melt away into the oil. Once the ‘nduja has melted down, add the tinned tomatoes or passata/tomato puree. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that it reduces down and becomes thicker. By this point, your pasta should be ready to go.
  3. Add the pasta. Transfer the cooked pasta directly into the pan with the sauce (no need to drain!) Add 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and 1/2 cup of grated parmesan. Toss the pasta through the sauce using tongs, a large spoon, or a spatula. Once the parmesan has melted into the sauce and the pasta is well coated, remove the pan from the heat and prepare to serve.
  4. Garnish and serve. Divide the pasta between plates, then scatter the remaining parmesan on top, along with the basil leaves. If you’re jazzing it up further, tear your burrata into 3 and place it on top of the pasta. Dig in!


The sauce is easily scaled up or down, and freezes well. I like to freeze it in ziplock bags so you can flatten the sauce so it takes up less space.

If you can’t find ‘nduja, use chorizo instead.

I’m using fettuccine here, but you can use any pasta you like. It’s lovely with penne, rigatoni or spaghetti too!

  • Prep Time: 4
  • Cook Time: 11
  • Category: pasta
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: italian


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl

Keywords: nduja pasta, tomato pasta, spicy tomato pasta, nduja fettucine


I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.





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