Filei Pasta con Sugo di 'Nduja
Filei, also known as fileja, are hollow tubes of pasta traditionally hand rolled around a thin cane to form their shape. As with this dish, filei pasta is often paired with other regional Calabrese specialties, like the spicy 'nduja sausage.
Filei Pasta con Sugo di ‘Nduja (Filei Pasta with ’Nduja & Cherry Tomatoes)
Yield: 4 servings
10 ounces filei pasta (or any short, dried pasta)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion
2 pints cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons ‘nduja
1 cup picked parsley
Pecorino Romano, for finishing
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons of Kosher salt.
In a 12 to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook them for 5 minutes until they become softened and slightly golden. Add the tomatoes and cook them for 10 minutes, then add the ‘nduja, stir to incorporate it and cook the mixture for 10 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust for salt, then simmer over low heat to achieve a depth of flavor.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until it is just al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta water, then add the pasta and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water to the tomatoes and ‘nduja. Stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated with the sauce. Add a splash or two more of the reserved pasta water, if necessary, to loosen the sauce.
Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the Pecorino Romano and parsley and serve immediately. Pair with a glass of Calabrese wine.