Pasta the Eggplant!

Carlos Jawabrah is passionate about cooking — a love that benefits him greatly at his restaurant Little Italy, located at 4430 N. First Ave.

“I love food so much,” he says with a smile. “I’m always cooking, always creating. I put my heart in it; I believe in it.”

Started in 2013, Little Italy showcases more than just Italian dishes — selections also span through Mediterranean dishes. Jawabrah prides himself on making sauces, bread, dressings, and more in-house.

“Even if we buy a sauce or something made already, we still add to it to make it the flavor we want to get,” he says.

In 2018, Jawabrah plans to expand his menu, offering more delicious tastes. But old favorites, such as the eggplant parmesan, plated here, still will be dished up by Jawabrah and his staff.

The trick to his dish compared to others, he says, is all in the preparation and cooking of the eggplant.

“The best way is to lightly bread and fry it,” he explains, “and as soon as I finish the process of frying, I brush it with olive oil on both sides — it keeps it moist and flavorful.”

The eggplant then is finished off with melted fresh ricotta and fresh mozzarella cheese with basil on top. To complete the plate, Jawabrah places the eggplant on a bed of pasta topped with house-made tomato sauce.

“Here we try to keep it light — we don’t want the eggplant to get lost or drown in the sauce,” he says.

For more information on Little Italy, call 812-401-0588 or visit

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