This dish of Greek origin is perfect for a wholesome and delicious dinner.
Preparation time: 20 minutes Standing time: 15 minutes (brinjals) Cooking time: 1-1½ hours 1 kg brinjals, cut in 5 mm thick slices salt and pepper 2 onions, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed oil 400 g lean beef mince 2 cans (400 g each) chopped tomatoes handful of spinach leaves, finely chopped 1-2 sticks soup celery, finely chopped 15 ml (1 T) each chopped fresh basil, thyme,
oregano and parsley 2 sachets (50 g each) tomato paste
80 ml (¹∕₃ c) white or red wine,
or chicken stock 1 can (400 g) baked beans, mashed 1-2 bay leaves 5 ml (1 t) sugar
310 ml (1¼ c) low-fat milk, heated with 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig parsley, 1 sprig thyme and 1 leek stem 30 ml (2 T) cake flour 60 ml (¼ c) grated low-fat cheddar cheese 50 g ricotta or cottage cheese pinch each of nutmeg and paprika
1 Preheat the oven grill. Spray an ovenproof dish with nonstick spray. 2 Bolognese sauce Sprinkle the brinjal slices with salt and leave in a colander for 15 minutes to drain the juices. Rinse, squeeze to remove excess moisture and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spray well on both sides with nonstick spray and roast until browned on both sides. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 °C. 3 Heat a nonstick pan, spray with nonstick spray and stir-fry the onion and garlic. Add a little oil and then the mince. Stir-fry, breaking up lumps while the meat is cooking, until done. 4 Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until fragrant. 5 Cheese sauce Drain the milk to remove the herbs and leek. Mix a little of the milk with the flour to form a paste. Put the paste in a pot, gradually adding the rest of the milk, heat and stir constantly until the milk comes to the boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses and spices. 6 Place a layer of brinjal slices in the ovenproof dish and spoon over some bolognese sauce. Repeat the layers, ending with brinjals. Pour the cheese sauce over and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.