I was lucky to have someone testing this dish. My flat-mate’s mother from Indonesia visited her for a few days . The mother is a dedicated housewife. She loves cooking and taking care of her husband and children. However, her daughter – my flatmate, doesn’t like cooking so much. I remembered each time her mother visited her, she stayed with us and cooked a lot of food for her daughter. She even cooked more than enough and preserved them in the boxes so that my flatmate still had good food to eat after she flew back to Indonesia.
When she cooked in the kitchen, or when I cooked, we exchanged a lot of interesting talks about our interest in cooking and baking. This was the meal I cooked and invited her to share with us. She was with me in the kitchen all the time, watching me preparing this pasta dish and asking me about what she didn’t know about this particular pasta. She loves eating spaghetti too, and when I told her this pasta would be a little spicy, she showed no hesistance since Indonesian food is often spicy too. For me, in order to enjoy this dish to the fullist, I needed to reduce the spicy ingredients.
I was happy that she enjoyed this pasta. And we did have a really happy time talking about life in the two countries, about parents and children while having the meal together. This is a very memorable occasion.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 200g spaghetti
- 60ml olive oil
- 1 red chilli, finely sliced
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 bacon slices, chopped
- 200g eggplant, diced
- 1 tsp dried basil or 3 tbs fresh basil
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tomato, chopped
- salt, pepper, to season
- Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well and return to the pan to keep warm.
- Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Cook the chilli, onion, garlic and bacon for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is golden and the bacon browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan, cook the eggplant and dried basil over high heat, tossing to brown on all sides. Return the bacon mixture to the pan, add the vinegar, tomato and basil (if using fresh basil) and cook until heated through. Season.
- Serve the spaghetti topped with the eggplant mixture.