- 1 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 2 onions, chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 3 garlic cloves
- 300g frozen lamb mince
- 2 tsp cinnamon
A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…
- 1 large aubergine, cut into small cubes
Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…
- 1 lamb or beef stock cube
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 400g macaroni
For the bechamel sauce
- 1l semi-skimmed milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 85g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 85g plain flour
- 75g Parmesan, plus extra for the top
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook until softened, then add the garlic and stir around the pan for 1 min more. Scoop the onions to one side of the pan, add the lamb and cook until browned. Pour off any excess oil from the pan.
Add the spices and oregano, then tip in the aubergine. Fry for another 5 mins until the aubergine has softened a little, then crumble in the stock cube and add the tomatoes, along with half a can of water. Season, cover the pan and simmer for 30 mins.
Uncover the lamb mince and continue to simmer until the sauce is thick and clinging to the meat – about 15 mins. Meanwhile, make the béchamel sauce. Warm the milk in a large pan with the bay leaves. Melt the butter in another large pan, stir in the flour to make a paste, then add the warm milk, ladle by ladle, stirring well between each addition, until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Season well and add the Parmesan. Meanwhile, cook the pasta following pack instructions, then drain.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Tip the mince into a large baking dish. Mix the macaroni into the cheesy sauce and pour this over the lamb. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Can now be frozen, defrost before cooking. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden brown and crispy on top. Leave to cool for 5 mins before serving.