If there is one dish that would be able to describe Rome is, without any doubts, la Carbonara. It is a simple pasta dish, but often causes intense and passionate friction between italians. Some argue that you need to cook the guanciale with onions, some would strongly support the garlic and other both! However, If you talk to a proper roman, there is neither onion nor garlic. The magic needs precisely guanciale (and not bacon, American people!!), eggs, pecorino romano and black pepper! Today we are presenting this pasta with a “small twist” to the original recipe. As I am writing, I feel very ashamed and I know I’ll have my italian passport retracted after this post, but I swear, this pasta is really good! Since I decided to stop eating meat a few years ago, Lou has thought on how to keep some roman vibes in the house and she thought that a good alternative to the guanciale would be eggplants, meaty and, if soffritte, very tasty! Nicely cooked in the oven (as only Lou can do!), and then pan-fried, the taste of these eggplants reminded us of guanciale, oppss! The creamy egg sauce riched with pecorino romano and black pepper is stil there, and to me, is the star of this dish! Please, italians and the world, try it, give it a chance!
- 250g spaghetti
- 2 large eggs
- 1 eggplant
- 50g of pecorino romano
- j.e. black pepper
- j.e. salt
- j.e. EVO oil
1. Turn the oven at 350F. Cut the egglpants in small little cubes. Leave the skin on as it will get crispy and delicious when pan-fried!
2. As the oven reaches the temperature, place the eggplants cubes in a baking tray. Add oil, black pepper and salt. Mix everything (dirt your hands!) so the seasoning is homogeneous across the tray. Keep them in the oven for about 30 minutes.
3. Start by filling a large stock pot with water and put some salt. Turn on the heat, place the lid, and wait until the water boils!
4. When the water starts boiling, throw your spaghetti in the stock pot and now keep the lid off.
5. As the 30 minutes have passed, take the eggplants out of the oven. In the meantime, get a fry-pan, add EVO oil, and let it warm. Then, add the eggplants, and let the soffritto sings until you see the skin of the eggplants getting crispier and the “meat” golden (8-10 minutes); occosionally, if the eggplants get too dried and stick to the pan, add some water directly from the stock pot where your pasta is happily cooking.
6. In the meantime prepare your egg suace. Crack the two eggs in a bowl. Add some trited black pepper, and half of the pecorino romano you grated (the rest you will use to garnish the dish). Whisk the egg well until you get a homeogeneous mixture.
7. In the last two minutes of the cooking time suggested for your pasta, transfer the spaghetti in the fry-pan with the eggplants. Continue to cook the pasta adding now and then some water from the stock pot where the pasta was previously cooking. Mix well the pasta with the eggplants and keep adding that water rich of starch that will enable to form a creamy sauce. Lastly, try a spaghetto and if ready transfer all the spaghetti with the egglapnts in a large bowl.
8. Far from the heat (very important!! otherwise you will make the typical frittata), add the egg compost in the big bowl and mix very well and quickly so that the sauce gets well incorporated and it does not break!
9. Plate your pasta in your most beautiful dish! Add some of the sauce you’ll find at the bottom of the big bowl, a final touch of black pepper and pecorino romano. Ready to enjoy it!