Levantine Moussaka

by Leah Halmagyi


  • 3 eggplant, sliced 1cm thick
  • sea salt flakes and freshly-ground black pepper
  • cooking oil spray
  • 2 brown onions, very finely diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 750g lamb mince
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried Greek oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 bunch parsley, very finely chopped
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp plain flour
  • 650ml hot milk
  • 1½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino
  • ½ cup grated smoked cheese
  • 4 egg yolks


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves: 12

1 Preheat oven to 220°C. Season the eggplant with a generous amount of salt. Stand for 30 minutes, then rinse well and pat dry. Arrange on a lined oven tray and bake for 20 minutes. Set aside.
2 Sauté the onions and garlic in half the oil for 5 minutes, until just softened. Add the lamb mince and cook until browned. Mix in the tomato paste, tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon and sugar, then season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 1 hour, until thickened, mix in the parsley.
3 Put the butter and flour in a large pan over a moderate heat and cook for 3 minutes, until crumbly. Whisk in the milk and simmer until thickened, then fold in the nutmeg, half the cheeses and egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper.
4 Put the eggplant in the bottom of a baking dish, then top with lamb mixture and white sauce. Finish with the remaining cheese. Reduce oven to 170°C and bake for 40 minutes, until golden on top.