- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 C fan / Gas 6.
- Deeply score the flesh of your aubergines, lightly salt, drizzle with olive oil, paprika and honey. Push your garlic quarters into the scored flesh. Place the aubergine flesh side down in a roasting tray.
- Roast in the preheated oven for around 40 minutes, turn midway and cook until the flesh is soft and fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow your aubergines to cool to touch.
- Scoop out the flesh from the skin and place in a shallow pan. Drizzle generously with olive oil and any liquid from the roasting tray. Add a pinch of sugar and stir though. Leave on very low heat, stirring occasionally until browned through with a slightly caramelised flavour, this can take around 30 minutes. Add more paprika to taste, to enhance the smoky flavour.
- Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil over a high heat. Cook the tagliatelle according to the instructions on the packet, or until al dente.
- Drain and mix your cooked pasta into your aubergine paste and loosen with olive oil if required. Serve with lashings of olive oil and shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese, perhaps a touch of grated black truffle too. Enjoy with friends and a chilled sauvignon blanc (optional).
Most of the work is done in the oven and then a shallow pan to caramelise. This needs time but comes with little preparation and minimal effort for maximum flavour. Be patient.
Use good ingredients. This is my own recipe but I learned the heart of Italian cooking living in Italy and in my view, it's the secret to great Italian style food.
Don't be shy to use a lot of olive oil. In many top restaurants in Milan and equally the small family run kitchens, pasta dishes are often served swimming in good extra virgin olive oil. Unashamedly rewarding and a bit of a guilty pleasure.