Moussaka

Total Time
4hrs 10mins
Prep
2 hrs
Cook
2 hrs 10 mins

This recipe is not for the faint-hearted cook. It's very good, and it takes a lot of work. Don't waste it on someone who would be just as satisfied with steak and salad! This recipe is sized for a large cake pan. If you cut the recipe in half it will fit into an ordinary lasagna-size baking dish. Approximate measurement OK for eggplant, tomato mixture.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. First make the tomato sauce: peel and mince onions. Saute onions in 2 Tbsp oil and 2 Tbsp butter, over moderate heat, until they are soft and lightly colored (about 8 minutes). Add mush- rooms and saute. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, parsley, seasonings and sugar.
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, and the mixture is quite thick. Remove skillet from heat and let it cool completely.
  3. Start seasoning the eggplants: peel eggplants and slice vertically, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Now make the Bechamel Sauce. NOTE: The Bechamel-egg-ricotta mixture will overflow all but the largest (professional size) food processors. Use a mixer or blend by hand.Place the milk in a saucepan, and heat it just until tiny bubbles appear along the edges. Remove and set aside.
  5. Melt the butter in 3-quart saucepan over very low heat until foamy, being careful not to brown. Slowly add the 6 Tbsp flour, stirring constantly until smooth (3-4 minutes), and still being careful not to let it brown.
  6. Add the milk slowly, whipping with a wire whisk. When the mixture is thick and smooth, remove it from the heat and stir in seasonings.
  7. Stir ricotta cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Gently fold it into the Bechamel sauce. Stir in beaten eggs until thoroughly incorporated.
  8. Back to the eggplant: Rinse well with cold water; squeeze gently and pat dry. Dredge the eggplant in 1 1/2 cups flour, and saute each in olive oil until it is brown on both sides.
  9. Remove and discard any excess oil that has risen to the top of the tomato mixture. Lightly grease a 16x10 baking pan that is at least 3 inches deep, and sprinkle the bottom with a few breadcrumbs.
  10. Place a layer of eggplant in the pan, following with a layer of tomato mixture. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Repeat as many times as you have eggplant to last. Pour the Bechamel-ricotta sauce over the top and bake at 300 deg. F for one hour, or until a golden-brown crust has formed on top.
  11. Remove moussaka from oven and let it stand undisturbed 20-30 minutes; the delay allows the layers to fuse.