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by Sally Bernstein

Serves 12

2 medium-sized eggplants
4 Tbsp. butter

4 Tbsp. butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 pounds ground lamb (or beef)

3 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ cup red wine
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ tsp. cinnamon
black pepper

4 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
dash of fresh nutmeg
1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Peel the eggplants and cut them into ½ inch thick slices.  Brown the slices in 4 Tbsp. butter.  Drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Heat 4 Tbsp. butter in a skillet and cook the onions until brown.  Add the ground meat and cook 10 minutes.  Combine the tomato paste with the wine, parsley, cinnamon, salt and pepper (to taste).  Stir this mixture into the meat and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.

Make a béchamel sauce by melting 4 Tbsp. butter and blending in the flour, stirring with a wire whisk.  Bring the milk almost to a boil and add it gradually to the butter-flour mixture, stirring constantly.  When the mixture is thickened and smooth, remove it from the heat.  Cool slightly and stir in the beaten eggs, nutmeg and ricotta cheese.

Grease a 13” x 9” x 2” pan and sprinkle the bottom lightly with bread crumbs.  Arrange alternate layers of eggplant and meat in the pan, sprinkling each layer with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.  Pour the béchamel sauce over the top and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown.  Cut into squares to serve.

This recipe can be made in advance.  Freeze before baking.

© Sally Bernstein, 2005

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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