Slice 1-2 eggplants lengthwise, set in a colander or on a broiler pan
Sprinkle liberally with salt, I used Kosher. Let slices sit for 30 minutes.
The salt sucks moisture out of the eggplant and it won't be long before you'll see the water start to bead up on the slices.
Prepare your sauce
Chop 1 medium onion
Chop 2 cloves of garlic
Gently cook your ground lamb (or ground beef), drain if needed, place into a food processor and pulse until minced (if needed)
Not paste, just a nice mince : )
Saute onion until soft in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Add chopped garlic, saute for 1-2 minutes
Add 1 large can of tomatoes with juice
Add 1 large tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground Allspice
1/2 teaspoon White sugar
1 Bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add 3/4 cup hot water
Cover and simmer sauce for approx. 45 minutes, uncover the last ten minutes or so until the liquid has been absorbed and evaporated, you want it to be thick. Set aside and let cool slightly.
Rinse eggplant slices, pat dry with paper towel, smooth olive oil on both sides and place into the oven at 450 degrees to bake for 10-15 minutes-till soft. Set aside, lower heat in oven to 350 degrees.
Lay 1/2 of your eggplant slices in the bottom of a greased/buttered or sprayed 9x13 glass casserole dish.
Mix 1/2 cup fresh parsley and 1 beaten egg into the sauce mixture and layer all of it atop the eggplant slices.
Cover the sauce mixture with the remaining eggplant slices and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Remove from oven and top with bechamel sauce, sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until the top is bubbly and lightly browned.
I only used one eggplant as they are scarce here. I almost didn't get to make the Moussaka (would've been Shepard's Pie) because the main grocer here didn't have any nice ones Sunday when I shopped. Through persistence, there was one to be found (only 1) at a second much smaller grocery. So, if I had been using more it would of course be taller, which is lovely. You can also add slices of potato to Moussaka. I think I will next time...I will also try a yogurt/egg mixture I have only read about as I think this will give me a nice thick layer of white on top, although I do adore the Bechamel.
Original recipe from the 75th Joy of Cooking
I can't get fresh ground lamb so I have the store special order in...well...what they will : ) They don't normally carry it.