Monday, July 7, 2008


Serves 6

Salt and ground black pepper
3 large aubergines, sliced lengthways
Olive oil for brushing
50g/2oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the meat sauce
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
450g/1lb minced lamb
1 glass of dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato purée
450g/1lb tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
11⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh
3 tablespoons chopped fresh
Flat-leaf parsley
For the white sauce
50g/2oz butter
50g/2oz flour
600ml/1pt milk
50g/2oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

• Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas mark 5. Sprinkle the slices of aubergine with salt, and leave for at least 30 minutes.
• To make the meat sauce, sweat the onion and garlic gently in the olive oil in a large frying pan until soft but not coloured. Add the lamb and stir until it loses its raw look. Add all the remaining meat sauce ingredients except the parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20–30 minutes until thick. Stir in the parsley.
• To make the white sauce, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Gradually stir in the milk. Return to a gentle heat. Simmer for 10–15 minutes, stirring, until the sauce is fairly thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Just before using, beat in the egg and yolk.
• Rinse the aubergine slices and pat dry with kitchen paper. Lay them on oiled baking sheets. Brush generously with olive oil, and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until tender and patched with brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
• Lightly brush a rectangular baking dish with oil. Lay half the aubergine slices on the bottom, overlapping if necessary, then spread half the meat sauce on top. Repeat the layers, and spoon the white sauce over the top, covering the meat completely. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and cinnamon. Bake for 50–60 minutes until browned. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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