Every Tuesday, Italian expat Emiko Davies is taking us on a grand tour of Italy, showing us how to make classic, fiercely regional dishes at home. Today: A must at any Italian family gathering, this Calabrian spin on baked pasta has a bit of a kick, and is a perfect place for late-summer eggplant.
Ah, eggplant: It is a fickle lover indeed. When treated right, it’s creamy and earthy—a standout star in dips and purées, as well as roasted and grilled dishes. But don’t give it the love it demands, and you’re left with a bitter, insipid, and limp veggie that’s picked over instead of devoured.