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Recipe | Moussaka with an Italian Twist

Recipe | Moussaka with an Italian Twist

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Potato minced meat eggplant casserole

Yield: 6-8 servings

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 pound eggplant (about 2), peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Meat Sauce:

1 pound ground beef or lamb

1 large onion, peeled and diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup red wine

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

For the White Sauce:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup Ricotta cheese

2 eggs

1 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Directions

To prepare the eggplant, season each slice on both sides with salt. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the eggplant slices until golden brown and tender. This will take 5-7 minutes. Work in batches if you have a small skillet. Transfer the eggplant to a plate and set aside.

To prepare the meat sauce, cook the ground beef, breaking up the meat, and onion in a skillet over medium heat until the onion has caramelized. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano and cinnamon and cook for about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour in the tomatoes and simmer until the sauce reduces by one-quarter, about 25 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.

To prepare the white sauce for the topping, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes until a light-colored roux forms. Whisk in the milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg and let cook until the sauce thickens, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. While the sauce is cooling, mix together the yogurt, Ricotta cheese, and eggs. Mix this into the white sauce after it has cooled.

To assemble the moussaka, preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the eggplant on the bottom of a baking or casserole dish and cover with the meat sauce. Spread the meat sauce into an even layer. Pour the white sauce over the top in an even layer then sprinkle the crumbled Feta over top. Bake the casserole for 45 minutes or until the top is light brown and bubbly.

— Niki Davis

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