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This is well worth the effort to make, it's a fabulous dish! to save time the lamb sauce and the white sauce can me made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. The best canned tomatoes and sauce will make a difference to the meat sauce, so try and purchase a good quality product for this recipe and of coarse all recipes! If you are not a feta lover then substitute mozzarella cheese for the feta. The recipe states 12 lasagna noodles, I usually cook a couple more just in case a couple tear while boiling.
- 2 medium eggplants (sliced lengthwise to about 1/3-inch)
- 12 lasagna noodles (cooked and drained)
- 2 cups crumbled feta cheese (can use mozzarella in place of feta)
LAMB MEAT SAUCE
- 2 large onions
- 3 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons dried chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 3 -5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground lamb
- 1 (32 ounce) can whole tomatoes (undrained)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch allspice
- seasoning salt
- 1⁄3 cup butter (no subs!)
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups half-and-half cream
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- salt and pepper
- Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with salt and pepper, then place the slices in a large colander, then weight it down with a heavy bowl, let drain about 1 hour.
- Remove from the colander and pat slices dry.
- Heat the oven to broiler heat and place rack 4 inches from heat.
- Arrange the eggplant slices in one layer on a baking sheet and brush with oil.
- Broil eggplant slices until golden (about 3 minutes).
- To make the lamb meat sauce (this can be made up to 2 days ahead) In a large skillet or a heavy bottomed pot heat olive oil, then add in onions, garlic, oregano and chili flakes; sauté for about 3-4 minutes or until softened.
- Add in lamb and cook stirring until the lamb is no longer pink (about 5-6 minutes).
- Add in tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, paste, cinnamon, allspice, seasoning salt and pepper; simmer uncovered for about 1-1/4 hours, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally.
- To make the white sauce; in a heavy saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat, then whisk in flour until smooth; cook whisking for 3 minutes.
- Slowly add/whisk in half and half cream and cayenne (if using) whisking continuously until thick (about 4-5 minutes).
- Add in egg, whisking vigorously and simmer whisking for 1 minute.
- Add in Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper (this sauce can be made, cooled to room temperate covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead).
- Set oven to 375°F.
- Pour about 1 cup of the lamb sauce into the bottom of the 13 x 9-inch dish (the sauce will not cover bottom completely).
- Cover the sauce with 3 cooked lasagna noodles, make certain they DO NOT touch each other.
- Spread about 1-1/2 cups meat sauce over the lasagna sheets.
- Top with 1-2 broiled eggplant slices over the noodles.
- Gently spread about 1/2 cup white sauce over the eggplant, then sprinkle with about 1/3 cup finely crumbled feta cheese.
- Make 2 more layers in the same manner, beginning and ending with the lasagna sheets.
- Spread the remaining white sauce evenly over the top pasta layer, making certain that the pasta is completely covered.
- Top/sprinkle with remaining feta cheese.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil, tenting slightly to prevent foil from touching the top layer.
- Bake (second-lowest oven rack) for about 30 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes more, or until the top is bubbling.
- Remove and set oven to broiler heat.
This is a great recipe for a lazy Sunday afternoon/evening when there is plenty of time to prep and enjoy the results of your hard work. We concurred with Kitten that the recipe is well worth the effort. The lasagna is very flavorful. At first we were worried about the amount of cinnamon and allspice, but it blended perfectly in the final stages of the dish. We cooked in the oven for less time as our lasagna started smoking while cooking covered. However, even though we cooked it less time, the final product seemed perfectly timed. We look forward to all of our leftovers tomorrow. Thanks, Kitten, for a really nice Sunday meal.