spaghetti artigianali con melanzane e parmigiano


extravagantly simple, and also simply lavish


There could hardly be a simpler meal than this one.  In addition, few could be easier to make, if it weren’t for the amount of attention needed to see that a large number of simple eggplant ‘coins’ are properly  cooked before they’re tossed with an extraordinarily good artisanal pasta.

I found the very minimal recipe many years ago inside a magazine article describing half a dozen simple pasta dishes. It was described by Fred Plotkin as the inspiration of Signora Francesca Pantonocito, relayed to him by her daughter Laura.

I can’t find anything on line about either Pantonocito, so I have noting else to share, except one very useful tip, from the recipe’s author, that zucchini could well be substituted for the eggplant.  Normally I’d be tempted to suggest adding mint in either case, but this formula is absolutely perfect as it is, so long as a very good pasta is used.

  • Setaro spaghetto from Buon Italia (about eight ounces), tossed in a large cast-iron pan in which thinly-sliced coins of Japanese eggplant from Lani’s Farm had been allowed to brown in a coating of olive oil over high (but not smoking) heat, then removed, the oil remaining, the pasta with melanzane then finished with freshly-ground black pepper and a generous sprinkling of very good Red Cow Parmesan cheese from Eataly
  • the wine was an Italian (Sicily) red, Corvo Nero d’Avola 2012
  • the music was the Brooklyn Rider album, ‘Dominant Curve‘, which includes Debussy’s String Quartet