Cook2 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.
- 2 large onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups mushrooms, minced, ground (if you insist upon using meat substitute 1 lb beef/lamb)
- 3 tomatoes, peeled and pureed
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3⁄4 cup dry red wine
- 1⁄2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 cups milk
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon white pepper
- olive oil
- 3 lbs eggplants
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 2 cups kefalotyri or 2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir ricotta cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Gently fold it into the Bechamel sauce. Stir in beaten eggs until thoroughly incorporated.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove moussaka from oven and let it stand undisturbed 20-30 minutes; the delay allows the layers to fuse.
This is no more work then making a lasagna! I did make a couple of changes. I added green peppers to the onions and left them in a larger chop then fine. Did add ground meat along with the mushrooms. Started this the day before browning stove top then finished in the crock pot. Made the Bechamel in the microwave. First melted in a large glass bowl added the flour stirred till smooth, added the milk and microwaved till thick. Mixed the eggs and ricotta together till smooth and then added to the sauce. I would next time use 1 cup less milk. I had a lot left over that would have overfilled the pan. Didn`t have parm so I use mozzarella cheese. I do think the parm would be the better choice. I also had to bake an additional 20 minutes. Rising the temperature to 350 should do the trick to bake for 45-60 minutes. Thanks for the good eats! ;)
Broke this down over several days - added lasagna noodles and made a gi-normous (15 x 18) pan - so doubled tomato sauce (opted for 1/2 beef and 1/2 pork) one evening, broiled the eggplant slices and assembled the net day & sauced it with double batch of Bechamel today. I used the ricotta as its own layer and folded in about a cup of crumbled Bulgarian feta and topped the pan with the Bechamel over a layer of shredded mozzarella. Not traditional but delicious and has enough structural integrity to handle freezing. Thanks for a keeper that we made into either Greek lasagna or Italian Moussaka. LOL! Thanks for posting!
Great recipe!!! My husband and I enjoyed it very much and it made our romantic dinner very special!