Weekly Family Meal Planning Made Easy with Meat Sauce and Moussaka

In part 2 of how to use one recipe multiple ways to efficiently feed your family, this segment of Cooking from the Heart adds the sausage and meat sauce to a recipe for a non-traditional Moussaka.

Sausage Bolognese

Ingredients:

1 lb ground sausage (sweet, mild or spicy -it’s up to you!)

1 -14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes

½ -15 oz can of tomato sauce

½ tsp sugar

Directions:

Brown sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. When browned, drain grease, but keep sausage in skillet. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar. Let simmer 15 minutes. Serve over pasta, or use as a base in many other delicious recipes.

Karen’s Moussaka

Ingredients:

Sausage Bolognese Recipe (with a few additions)

1 tsp cinnamon1 pinch ground cloves

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbs tomato paste

Bechamel Sauce

4 Tbs unsalted butter (for a slightly firmer bechamel, use 3 Tbs butter instead of 4)

4 Tbs flour

2 cups milk

1 egg, well beaten

¼ cup shredded parmesan

1 large eggplant

3-4 Tbs sea salt

2 Tbs olive oil

1 large baking potato

Directions:

To Prepare eggplant: Preheat oven to 400. Slice eggplant into ¼ inch thick slices, and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt on both sides – then let sit for at least 30 minutes. This process will draw out any bitter juices.

After the 30 minutes have passed, rinse the eggplant thoroughly and pat dry. Place on an oiled cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and then bake for 20 minutes or until the eggplant is just cooked (not too mushy). Remove from oven and let cool.

To Prepare the potato: You can do this quickly while the eggplant is sitting in the salt. Peel the potato and cut lengthwise into quarters. Slice each quarter into ¼ inch slices. Steam potato slices until fork tender. You can steam over the stove or in the microwave (in a covered dish with about 3 Tbs of water for approximately 4 minutes).

To Prepare the Bechamel: This can be done while eggplant is in the oven. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk flour into melted butter and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until it turns a rich gold color. Add milk, slowly, whisking constantly to ensure there are no lumps. Once milk is all incorporated, add beaten egg, making sure to whisk quickly and constantly during addition so that the egg will incorporate well into the sauce and not simply become scrambled. Once the egg is incorporated, add parmesan and mix well.

To Prepare the Sausage Bolognese: Place 1 recipe of Sausage Bolognese in a skillet and warm. To this add the cinnamon, cloves, sugar and tomato paste. Mix well and let simmer. Layer the Moussaka.

Preheat the oven to 350.

family meal planning

In an 8×8 baking dish, spread about 1/3 cup of Sausage Bolognese. Spread steamed potato slices over the thin layer of Sausage Bolognese. Cover the potatoes with 1/3 of the remaining Sausage Bolognese. Layer the eggplant over the Sausage Bolognese. Spoon the remaining Sausage Bolognese over the eggplant, then cover pour the bechamel on top making sure to spread it evenly, so that it completely covers the dish.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until bechamel is lightly golden and slightly firm to touch. Let cook for 10 minutes before enjoying this beautiful meal!