A very Mediterranean bake, indeed, with the traditional ingredients to the area: eggplant, tomatoes and Mediterranean herbs.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Sweat onion and garlic without browning for 1 minute. Add the ground beef and fry for 3 minutes. Stir well.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, mixed herbs and 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs water. Bring the sauce to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Thicken the sauce with 1 tsp of cornstarch blended with 1 Tbs cold water. Season with salt and pepper.
- Make the cheese sauce by heating the milk in a pan. Add in half the cheese. Thicken the sauce with the rest of the cornstarch blended with 2 Tbs cold milk. Add beaten egg. Stir well. Season to taste.
- In an ovenproof dish, layer the meat sauce, eggplant slices and potato slices.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the top. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese on top.
- Bake in a preheated oven 350°F (180°C or Gas 4) for 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Although Cheddar is not a traditional Mediterranean cheese, the flavor complements the eggplant. Try mozzarella, for a more Italian flavor, or your favorite Mediterranean cheese.