Red lentil and aubergine moussaka

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We had some leftover ricotta cheese after making our Butternut and sweet potato lasagne with sage, toasted pine nuts and nutmeg and so I decided to use the recipe finder on the BBC Food website to see if I could find a recipe to use it up. This is what I found – a recipe by Simon Rimmer that is easy to make but really delicious.

Ingredients

For the filling
400g/14oz aubergines, sliced into thin rounds
50ml/2oz vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
50g/2oz tomato purée
400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes, drained
1 cinnamon stick
100g/3½oz red lentils, cooked according to packet instructions
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

For the topping
125g/4½oz ricotta
125g/4½oz Greek-style yoghurt
3 free-range eggs
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g/2oz freshly grated pecorino

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2. For the filling, toss the aubergine slices in the vegetable oil, then drain and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add the aubergine slices in batches and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

4. Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

5. Add the tomato purée, stir to coat the vegetables in it, then continue to fry for a further 4-5 minutes.

6. Add the canned chopped tomatoes and cinnamon stick and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

7. Add the lentils and return the fried aubergines to the mixture. Simmer for a further 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.

8. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.

9. For the topping, in a bowl, beat together the ricotta, Greek-style yoghurt, eggs and grated nutmeg until well combined. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

10. Pour the topping mixture into the ovenproof dish on top of the filling. Sprinkle over the grated pecorino. Transfer the veggie moussaka to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and has set and the filling is bubbling. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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