Nduja is a fearsomely hot, spreadable pork and roasted red pepper paste. Originally from Calabria and once peasant food, its versatility, low cost and deliciousness has caught on, now at Waitrose and M&S. Think of it in the same category as harissa and chorizo, something to liven up all kinds of foods. I first cooked it with mussels, a spicy moules mariniere but the enduring favourite in my house is stirring a spoonful into baked beans and simmering them gently, stirring often until the beans are thick and creamy rather than in a slack gloop. The beans are served over sourdough buttered toast (always Hedone brown from www.bayley-sage.co.uk) with old favourite baked bean toppings of grated cheese and a couple of poached eggs, with chopped flat leaf parsley if I happen to have some. My this is good and it’s store cupboard if you start keeping a supply of nduja in the fridge. It keeps for several days. It hardly needs a recipe but here it is.
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 10 min
400g tin baked beans (original)
1 tbsp nduja
1 tbsp wine vinegar
4 thick slices sourdough
mature Cheddar or other hard cheese
few sprigs flat leaf parsley
Tip the beans into a medium pan, stir with nduja, salt and pepper and simmer, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until the beans juices are thick and creamy. Chose a wide based pan and half fill with boiling water from the kettle. Add 1 tbsp wine vinegar. Crack one egg at a time into a tea cup and slip into simmering water. Cook for about 2 minutes until the white is set but the yolk still soft. Use a perforated spoon to scoop one egg at time onto a fold of kitchen paper to drain. Butter toasted bread, spoon over the baked beans, top with eggs, grated cheese. Add chopped parsley and devour.