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  Antipasti 

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Nduja 

Nduja (pronounced an-doo-ya) is a soft, spicy hot, spreadable salami considered one of the most famous, if not the most famous, of typical Calabrian foods. Nduja originates from Spilinga, Vibo Valentia Province , though great nduja can be found in all areas of Calabria. The name nduja comes from the french word "andouille", which means "sausage". Nduja is made with pork meat, a bit of fat, salt and a lot of red pepper. In general, nduja is extremely spicy. However, for those less adventuresome souls, a less spicy version can sometimes be found. Nduja is often considered an aphrodisiac due to all of the red pepper inside, and is also great for the heart and tastes wonderful.

Nduja is a pork-based product in which ground pork is kneaded together with salt and calabrian chili pepper. The mixture is then made into sausage by encasing the mixture in the animal's natural intestinal lining. The sausage is then slightly smoked and allowed to rest and season for a number of months. Unlike typical salami, this salami is made to a very soft, spreadable consistency, making nduja completely different from any other salami with an absolutely unique taste. The quality of the pepper utilized is extremely important to the flavor of this typical product. It is not terribly rare to find nduja that utilizes lower quality red pepper. However, one can be ensured of high quality if one is careful to select nduja that originates from the calabrian region of Italy . In Calabria , pepper is not only an ingredient; it's much more. Red pepper represents tradition, culture and history. In this regard, nduja not only has high quality pepper, but it utilizes a lot of pepper as well. For this reason, someone not used to really spicy foods may have a bit of difficulty eating nduja, except in small quantities at least at first. (This is also true for a number of other calabrian products). For those who enjoy the taste of nduja, but would prefer less spice, nduja may be mixed with ricotta and then gently warmed in a saucepan. This mixture can then be used as a spread for bread, crackers, etc. Nduja can also be used to season pasta, pizzas, or anything else that takes your fancy. 

The above information comes from the www.nduja.info web site

Did we wet your appetite?  Hope so, but unfortunately Nduja "insaccata" like the photo above, is very difficult to find in the US even at the most complete Italian delis and pork stores.  BUT you can get it in jars at www.mangibene.it

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Marion Fusca Orazi’s Christmas Eggplant Spread

This was always a special treat at Christmas from Mom Orazi…. I try to make it every year…. submitted by her daughter-in-law Michelle Orazi

1 stick of celery with leaf

2 large eggplants

1 pound of pitted green olives

1 pound of black-pitted olives

1 chopped green pepper

1 small jar of capers

1/4 cup of sugar

1 1/2 quart of Cider Vinegar

Olive Oil

Salt

Chop celery and par boil it until half tender.  Skin and cube the eggplants.  Put the eggplant in a colander and salt heavily.  Let all the bitter juices run out for about 2 hours.  Put something heavy on top of the eggplant while it’s draining. 

In a large pot – the biggest one you own… Put 1/2 inch of olive oil.  Put the eggplant and capers, celery, olives, peppers, sugar into the hot oil and sauté 30 minutes.  Add the cider vinegar in a little at a time until you have all of it in the pot.  Let cook 1 hour or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Taste to make sure the eggplant is soft enough for a spread.  

Put into canning jars.  Serve with crackers or coarse bread…its great!!!!!!!!

 

 

Michelle Orazi’s Hot Crabmeat Appetizer

1 8oz. Pkg of cream cheese

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz. Can) lump crabmeat drained

2 tbs. Finely chopped onion

2 tbs. Milk

1/4-teaspoon salt

1/3-cup slice almonds

Let the cream cheese sit a room temperature for 1 hour.  Combine all ingredients except the nuts.  Mix everything until well blended.  Place in a 9-inch pie late.  Sprinkle with the almonds before placing in the oven. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.  Serve with crackers. 

 

 

Michelle Orazi’s Famous Guacamole Dip

So many of our friends have asked for this after tasting it…it’s good stuff….

1  8oz. Pkg. Of cream cheese

2 large avocados. Peeled/smashed

1 tbs. Of lemon juice

1/2-teaspoon salt

Garlic Salt

Onion Powder

Combine the softened cream cheese, avocado and lemon juice with garlic and onion salt.  

Mix until smooth…. get out those lumps…get the tortilla chips …and a margarita.  

 

 

 

Check Back Soon for:

Nicola Fuscà's Roasted Peppers

Calabrese Bruschetta