Eggplant carbonara

  • Portions: 4/6 pp
  • Level: 1/5
  • Preparation: 20 min
  • Cooking: 20 min
  • Season: For any season

To me a Carbonara represents a simplicity of minimal ingredients, highlighting the quality of each, from the eggs, Pancetta, onions and Pasta, with each being given the moment to shine and come together in a balanced dish.
The origins of the Carbonara are unknown, but some say it was a dish cooked by coal miners on a charcoal burner, but most recently the combination of such ingredients go back to world war II, when american solders had an abundance of eggs and bacon, so locals created the Carbonara we know today.
However this dish was created, each region and town will have its own variation, slight changes in cheese, pasta (I like to use Gnocchetti Sardi, a beautiful short pasta from the island of Sardinia) or even adding vegetables like spinach or eggplant, it is important to always stick to the basic style and technique to achieve the creamy, velvet texture of the Carbonara.

Ingredients

  • 500g Gnocchetti Sardi (or any short pasta)
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 100g grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 large eggplants
  • 200g pancetta
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

First you need to make your Carbonara cream. Mix together your eggs, cream, cheese and whisk in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Cut your eggplant into small cubes, in a large pan, with olive oil saute your eggplant until soft and remove. Cut your pancetta into small strips, it is important not to cut your pancetta too small otherwise it will dissolve in the pan during cooking. Cook your pancetta until the fat is removed and you are left with slightly crunchy pancetta.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt and cook your Gnocchetti Sardi until al dente. Mix together your eggplant and Pancetta and cook until well combined, toss in your pasta, then the moment of truth, it is important to do this OFF HEAT. Mix in your Carbonara Cream, the heat of the pasta, eggplant and pancetta with cook your egg mixture, if you have too much liquid you can go back on the heat for just a moment, being very careful not to end up with scrambled egg Carbonara.
Once you have your silky velvet texture, serve and enjoy.

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