• 3 medium Aubergines (eggplants) (I PREFER SICILIAN OR 4-5 ASIAN EGGPLANTS DEPENDING ON THE SIZE.
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ cup olive oil
For the Meat Sauce
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 1 pound (500g) ground lamb or beef
• 2 tablespoons dry white wine
• 13 ½ ounce (425g) can tomato puree
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
For the Cheese Sauce
• 3 ounces (90g) butter
• 1/3 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
• 2 cups milk
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 2/3 cup grated Romano cheese
1. Cut unpeeled eggplant into ½ inch (1 cm) slices. Sprinkle both sides with salt; stand in a colander 1 hour. Rinse in cold water, drain well. Squeeze out excess moisture with paper towels.
2. To make Meat Sauce: Heat oil in pan. Add onion and ground meat. Stir over high heat 10 minutes or until well browned and all liquid has evaporated. Add wine, tomato puree, herbs, cinnamon and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced.
3. To make Cheese Sauce- (Mornay Sauce): Heat butter in small pan; add flour to make a roux. Stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Add milk gradually to pan, stirring until smooth. Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens. Cook for 1 minute; remove pan from heat. Add eggs and cheese, beat until smooth.
4. Preheat oven to moderate (350 degrees F/180 degrees C). Heat oil in heavy-based pan. Cook eggplant a few slices at a time until golden; remove from pan, drain on paper towels. Divide eggplant into three. Arrange one portion over base of shallow ovenproof dish. Spread with half the meat sauce, second layer of eggplant, remaining meat sauce and eggplant. Spread Cheese Sauce over eggplant. Bake 45 minutes or until golden. Leave in dish for 5 minutes before serving.