- Portion size 8 servings
- Credits : © CanadianLiving.com
- 2 eggplants (2-1/2 lbs/1.25 kg)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 4 eggs beaten
- 2 cups pressed dry cottage cheese
- 2 lbs (1 kg) lean ground beef
- 2 onions chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 can tomato
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Cut eggplants into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices; layer in colander, sprinkling each layer with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Meat Sauce: Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook beef over high heat, breaking up with spoon, for 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Spoon off any fat. Add onions, garlic, oregano, cinnamon and pepper to pan; cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onions are softened.
Add wine, tomatoes and tomato paste, breaking up tomatoes with spoon; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer vigorously for 10 minutes or until mixture does not fill in when spoon is drawn through pan. Stir in parsley. Set aside.
Rinse eggplant; drain well and pat dry. In batches, brush eggplant with oil and broil on baking sheet, turning once, for 8 to12 minutes or until golden and translucent. Set aside.
Cheese Sauce: In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes, without browning. Gradually whisk in milk until boiling and thickened enough to coat back of spoon. Season with salt, nutmeg and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly, stirring occasionally.
Rinse feta under cold water; drain well. In large bowl, whisk together feta, eggs and cottage cheese; whisk in cheese sauce.
Spread half of the meat sauce in greased 13-x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish.
Spoon 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the cheese sauce on top, spreading evenly. Layer with half of the eggplant, overlapping if necessary. Repeat layers once. Pour remaining cheese sauce over top. (Make-ahead: Cover with plastic wrap, overwrap with foil and freeze for up to 3 weeks; thaw in refrigerator for 48 hours before continuing.)
Combine bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over casserole. Bake in oven for 70 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes; cut into squares.