Easy Moussaka

  •   3 medium-size eggplants

  •   Salt to taste

  •    Freshly ground pepper to taste

  •    1 cup butter or 6 tablespoons flour

  •    margarine, divided 1 quart milk

  •    3 large onions, 4 eggs, beaten until frothy

  •    finely chopped Nutmeg to taste

  •    2 lbs. ground 2 cups ricotta cheese

  •    lamb or beef 1 cup packaged fine bread crumbs (Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs work best)

  •    3 tablespoons 1/2 cup dry red wine

  •    tomato paste 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

  •    1/2 cup chopped 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon parsley

Peel eggplants and slice 1/2-inch thick. Brown slices quickly in a large, heavy skillet in 4 tablespoons butter (more as needed). Set aside. Heat 4 tablespoons butter in same skillet. Cook onions until lightly browned. Add ground meat. Cook 10 minutes. Combine tomato paste with wine, parsley, cinnamon, salt and pepper; stir into meat; simmer, stirring frequently, until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 8 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan; blend in flour with wire whisk. Meanwhile, bring milk to a boil, add gradually to butter-flour mixture, stirring constantly. When mixture is thickened and smooth, remove from heat. Cool slightly; stir in beaten eggs, nutmeg and ricotta cheese. Grease an 11 x 16 oven-proof pan (2'12 inches deep, at least). Sprinkle bottom lightly with bread crumbs. Arrange alternate layers of eggplant and meat in the pan. Sprinkle each layer with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs (about 2 layers each of meat and eggplant). Pour ricotta cheese sauce over the top. Bake 1 hour or until golden. Remove from oven; cool slightly before cutting into squares to serve. Makes 8 to 10 servings. 

From Josh and Dan Gough