I absolutely love trying to make ‘n bake new items, and this was definitely one of them – the moussaka bake; a simplified (of course) take on the Greek eggplant based dish. Excuse my heavy-handedness on the mozzarella cheese, I did go a little overboard, so the visuals are a bit brown but undoubtedly no regrets on the total cheesiness of it all.
As usual, I raided my pantry for pasta to make this dish and came across my macaroni so in it went, with additional new supplies such as a tub of Greek yoghurt and oregano and a can of diced tomatoes.
I did, however do a mistake when I when I was filling my baking dish with the mince and pasta mix. The mistake was, I combined the two together prematurely when they were meant to go into the baking dish separately in three different layers. Lesson learnt.
Nonetheless without further ado, let’s get started.
Serves: well, more than 4 definitely so I’d say around 6
2 tbs olive oil
1 large brown onion, diced
1 eggplant, cut into 2cm pieces – various shapes are fine; diagonal, rectangle, doesn’t matter too much (it’ll all work out in the end, trust me)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground all-spice
500g lamb mince
2 tbs tomato paste
400g diced tomatoes
1/2 cup of chicken stock
2 tbs oregano, chopped with a few extra leaves for garnishing
1/2 pack (250g) macaroni
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbs flour
mozzarella cheese, grated or shredded is fine
1. Using a large saucepan or pot, boil water and cook the macaroni for around 8-10 minutes until tender. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
2. Mix garlic and spices together, set aside.
3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and saute onion until softened. Next, cook the eggplant for 4 minutes until tender with golden tinges along the edges. Add the garlic and spices into the pan and cook for a 1 minute until fragrant and combined. Add lamb mince and using a wooden spoon break up the lumps and cook until browned. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and stock into the pan. Stir well. Bring the pan to low-medium heat and let simmer for around 10 minutes until the mixture is thickened.
4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180 degrees. Combine yoghurt, eggs, flour and 1/4 mozzarella cheese into bowl and mix together. Set aside or place in the fridge until mince mix is ready.
5. Once mince mixture has thickened, turn off the heat and add the chopped oregano and mix well.
6. Prepare a large baking dish and grease the base and sides. Spoon 1 cup of mince mixture on the base of the dish, then add the macaroni on top and layer a second layer of mince last. Then add the yoghurt and layer that neatly over the mince and pasta. Sprinkle cheese (sparingly, yep noted). Bake for 30 minutes or so and once finished, top with oregano leaves.