Garlicky, Spicy, Smoky Eggplant

Cube and fry an eggplant. Reduce the heat a bit and add 3-6 (or more) roughly chopped garlic cloves. Optional, but highly recommended, are 1-2 finely diced anchovey fillets, preferably the salt packed variety (rinse under cold running water and remove the head, skeleton, and bony fins with your fingers, much easier and not as gross  than it sounds). These anchovies from Cetara are the the very best.

Cook for a few minutes to soften the garlic, then add a nice sprinkle of some kind of hot chile: piment d’espellette if you can find it, cayenne, or red chile flake. Shake on a more generous amount of the Spanish smoked paprika called pimenton (I like the “dulce” version, but you could use the hot variety to cover both the smoky and spicy bases here). Cook for another minute; salt to taste and drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil at the table.