Try this meaty, spicy, warming dish and find happiness

You can’t help but want to eat this roasted Italian sausages, borlotti beans & nduja sauce.

PREP TIME: 30 mins
20 mins
not too tricky
crowd-pleaser, family

Wine pairing: After a nice chat with the Sutton’s, from Michael Sutton’s Cellar, about this dish, they’re recommended a lovely wine.

I pushed the boat out this week and tried a wine from Lebanon, Massaya Le Colombier, which is a cabernet sauvignon blend (£15.25).

It full of fruit and quite rustic, perfect for this Italian dish. The tip is to decant the wine at least an hour before drinking.

Roasted Italian sausages, borlotti beans & nduja sauce

I recently bought Theo Randall’s ‘The Italian Deli Cookbook’.

And I love it.

He’s got some lovely recipes in there.

So, one day as I was flicking through, thinking about what what to cook next.

And I spotted this dish; roasted Italian sausages with borlotti beans and ‘nduja sauce.

It looked simple enough.

And it sounded right up my alley with sausages and beans.

But what was somewhat new to me was cooking with nduja.

And using borlotti beans.

italian sausages with borlotti beans & nduja
roasted Italian sausages, borlotti beans & nduja sauce.

Borlotti beans

Ok, first up, I’ve never used them before.

Secondly, Theo’s recipe call for dried beans.

And the idea of doing an overnight soak to get beans, seemed a little bit of extra work.

When I could buy them already pre-soaked in a can.

And lastly, I read the best dried borlotti beans come from the protected area of Lamon, in the Veneto region.

So, for the blog, I thought I’d try and stay true to this recipe and use the ingredients suggested.

Turns out…that’s wasn’t going to happen.

Because, after much searching on t’internet for beans from Lamon.

I came up with nada, zip, zero.

So, this is about where I gave up on wanting to soak beans overnight.

Which means, for this recipe, I’ve cheated.

A lot.

And I bought canned borlotti beans.

All I had to do was drain and rinse them.

But perhaps one day, I’ll follow Theo Randall’s recipe to the letter to compare.


Ok, so this ingredient I know.

It’s basically a soft, spicy, spreadable sausage.

And it’s pronounced en-doo-ya

What is ‘nduja made of?

It’s usually made with only 4 ingredients:

  1. Pork meat
  2. Fat
  3. Chilli peppers 
  4. Salt

Calabrian chillies are the traditional pepper to use.

Which not only give the sausage its rich orange-red colour.

But give it a fiery, slightly smoky flavour. 

And is delicious.

Where does it come from?

Originally from the village of Spilinga in the region of Calabrian.

(and if you see ‘Nduja di Spilinga, it’s DOP-protected… a bit like champagne has to come from Champagne)

Calabria is considered ‘Nduja country and the birthplace of the spicy sausage.

‘Nduja has been a staple of the Calabrian diet for centuries.

As it was first produced out of necessity by peasant farmers.

They’d make use of all the cheap cuts of the pig, the one’s no one else would buy.

And ground the meat with fat and flavourings, to make this cheap but great-tasting sausage.

What does ‘nduja taste like?

Meaty, spicy, umami.

Plus, with a high percentage of chilli you get a strong, fiery kick.

How do eat ‘nduja?

Well, I’m about to show you one recipe 😉

But ‘nduja can be simply spread on a piece of fresh bread.

Or used in a pasta dishes, on a pizza’s, in a tart’s

It can basically be used everywhere!

Roasted Italian sausages, borlotti beans & ‘nduja sauce

The combo of meaty Italian sausages with borlotti beans and a rich, fiery ‘nduja sauce… is a winner.

And by using canned beans, you can cut a lot of time out and still produce a lovely, hearty family meal.

Give it a go and see what you think.

And if you’re searching for other tasty sausage recipes…

Why not check out the spicy sausage and lentils dish, here

(Which can also be adapted for veggies and vegans).

What’s your favourite sausage recipe? Leave a comment…

Roasted Italian sausages with borlotti beans and ‘nduja sauce

Course Main Course
Keyword Italian, sausages
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Soaking dried borlotti beans 1 day
Total Time 1 day 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Theo Randall
Cost £


  • 500 g canned borlotti beans
  • 4 garlic cloves, 2 whole, 2 finely sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 4 sage leaves, large (or 6 smaller ones)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 Italian sausages (order them online, they're worth it but some other coarsely minced sausages will work well)
  • 4 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 800 g passata
  • 140 g 'nduja, skinned (order online of most deli's have it)
  • 4 tbsp mascarpone
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 400 g kale, purple sprouting broccoli, or calabrese or longstem broccoli, cooked and seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper, to serve


  • Drain the canned borlotti beans but keep approx 1/2 can of the bean juice to add to a small pan, with approx 1/2 cup of water. (*put your beans to the side in another pan)
    Now, add your plum tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves and sage and gently simmer for approx 15 mins or until the tomatoes soften a little and you can smell the garlic and sage.
  • Once done, remove the tomato, sage, garlic (keep a little of the cooking water) into a bowl and using a handheld blender with a little of the cooking water, blend to make a smooth paste/sauce.
    Season well and add to the pan with the borlotti beans and put to the side.
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/320°F.
    Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan on a medium heat. Then, add the sausages and cook for 5 mins, turning frequently, until brown all over.
    Remove them from the pan and set aside, leaving the sausage fat and olive oil in the pan
  • Next, add the celery, sliced garlic, onion and carrots to the pan and cook gently for 5 mins, until the onion has softened.
    Add the red wine and cook for a further 2 mins until the liquid has reduced by half.
    Now. add the passata, cook gently for a couple of mins, then add the ’nduja and stir well.
  • Place the sausages on top of the passata mixture and bake in the oven for 15 mins, until the sausages are cooked through.
    Remove from the oven, dollop over the mascarpone (and check the seasoning)
  • Warm the cooked borlotti beans and stir through the remaining olive oil.
    Serve with greens – kale, broccoli


Recipe inspired by Theo Randall’s Italian Deli Cookbook


Great British Chefs