- 2 medium sized eggplants (2lb total weight)
- 6-8 tablespoons (approx)olive oil
- 8 oz finely chopped shallots
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup (packed)chopped parsley
- 1/4 tsp (rounded)cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves or ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup fine bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Peel eggplants and cut them into slices about 1/2 inch thick. In batches, brown slices in olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.Use 1 to 2 tbsp of olive oil for each batch. Set browned slices aside and wipe skillet clean.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet then add shallots and saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add ground lamb. Cook until meat is completely browned stirring the whole time. Remove skillet from heat.
In a separate bowl combine the tomato paste, wine, chopped parsley, cinnamon, cloves or allspice, salt and pepper. Add this mixutre to skillet. Return skillet to stove and continue cooking over medium-low heat until liquid has been absorbed.Remove from heat.
In a medium sized pot, bring milk to a near boil then remove from heat. Using a separate saucepan, make the white sauce by first melting the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour then gradually add hot milk, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until thickened - about the same thickness as tomato sauce. Remove from heat, cool slightly, then blend in beaten eggs, nutmeg and ricotta. Taste for seasonings. Add additional ground nutmeg and some salt if necessary.
Grease 2 metal or Pyrex loaf pans, measuring approximately 9x5x3 inches in size, with vegetable spray. Sprinkle the bottom of each pan with some dry bread crumbs. Add a layer of eggplant sprinkled with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Then add a layer of the meat mixture also sprinkled with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers. Top each pan with equal amounts of white sauce.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375F, or a convection oven at 350F, for 40-50 minutes or until the top begins to turn golden. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.