’Nduja on pizza? Yes, ’nduja on pizza!

Photo: Kevin Pang
Rec RoomRec RoomHearty recommendations from The Takeout staff.

Recently during our weekly Takeout Draft, the topic centered on pizza toppings. I had the foresight and pie-topping acumen to choose ’nduja—in the third round, no less!

This elicited a reaction from our beloved Takeout commentariat, which to my relief, was positive. Some thought this was an inspired choice, a way to integrate spicy sausage flavor in nubless-meat format (yes, I said it, sausage on pizza is nubby).

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Allow me to signal-boost that endorsement. ’Nduja (pronounced in-doo-jah) is spreadable salami with a distinctive red hue, thanks to the Calabrian peppers used to make it. Bloomberg interviewed a London chef who had a great line about how he uses ’nduja: “It’s the go-to ingredient for a bit of a kick. It’s like a non-vegetarian chili oil.”

Photo: Kevin Pang

Because it’s rather paste-like and melts easily—the consistency is like a very fine Jimmy Dean sausage in a tube—consider dolloping ’nduja into pastas, onto roasted broccoli, onto grilled chicken, and of course, atop your pizza.

I was first turned onto the idea of ’nduja-on-pizza from Bonci, the Roman pizzeria chain that opened its first American location in Chicago. There, chefs would drop ’nduja spheres onto a ricotta and roasted potato pizza. The sausage would melt like cheese, the angry red oil from rendered pork fat spilling over. The peppered spice hits you high in the nose and is intensely savory. It’s a superb and sophisticated pizza topping, and you should try it soon.

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About the author

Kevin Pang

Kevin Pang was the founder and editor-in-chief of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace on Netflix.