Greek-Style Eggplant and Spaghetti Pie
Thin slices of eggplant form the "crust" and topping for this delicious spaghetti pie made with a variety Greek-style ingredients and flavors. The filling is a combination of cooked spaghetti, ground lamb, diced tomatoes, fresh oregano, feta and mozzarella cheese. Serve with a Greek salad to round out the meal.
- 2 medium eggplants, about 2 lbs
- Olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1-3/4 cups diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce can)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh oregano (or 1 to 2 teaspoons dried)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces thin spaghetti, cooked and drained
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1-1/4 cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
Wash the eggplants and trim the ends. Slice them into 1/4-inch thick rounds and arrange in a single layer on wire racks. Sprinkle with salt and let stand until moisture beads on the top of each slice, 10 to 12 minutes. Blot the liquid with paper towels, turn the slices over and repeat the process.
Coat a large skillet with a thin layer of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the eggplant slices in a single layer and cook until tender and very lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adding oil as needed. Transfer cooked slices to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan, and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, sauté for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the ground lamb and continue cooking until lightly browned, breaking up any large chunks of meat as it cooks. Stir in the tomatoes and oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked spaghetti, egg, feta cheese and mozzarella cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then add the cooled lamb mixture and toss to combine.
Starting from the center and working in a spiral pattern, cover the bottom and sides of the pan with a layer of slightly overlapping eggplant slices. Fill the center with the spaghetti-lamb mixture, press down gently, top with the remaining eggplant slices and sprinkle with the balance of the mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before unmolding. Cut into wedges for serving.
Makes 6 generous servings