Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Cut the aubergines in half length-ways so you have a boat-shaped carrier for your moussaka mince.
Place them in a baking dish and generously drizzle with olive oil and a grind of salt and pepper. Rub to coat them in the oil and seasoning.
Put the aubergines into the oven and let them bake for roughly 20 – 30 minutes, or until they’re golden. Meanwhile, prepare the mince filling.
Start by sautéing the onion, garlic, carrot, tomato and celery in a frying pan.
Add your preferred choice of mince.
As the mince starts to brown, add the herbs, spices, fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper. Stir well to coat the mince evenly with the spices.
Once it has browned nicely, add the Worcestershire sauce, soya sauce, wine and tomato purée. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Turn down the heat to just simmering, add about 1/2 cup beef or lamb stock and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally.
Check the aubergines; they should be almost ready. You want them to caramelize and have nice gooey centres.
While everything else bubbles and bakes, you can prepare the ricotta topping.
Put the ricotta and mascarpone cheese, egg yolks, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Season well and with a small whisk or fork, mix till well combined. Use a blender for best results.
Remove the aubergines from the oven, leaving the oven on. Leave them to cool slightly. Give the mince a stir and add a splash of wine or stock if it’s looking dry.
Once the aubergines are at a temperature that you can comfortably handle, using a spoon, scoop out the centres. Be careful to leave a thick border of flesh on the inside, as scraping too close to the outside skin can tear them open. Just a shallow hollowed-out gap is what you should aim for.
Add the scooped out flesh into the mince and give it a good stir. Turn up the heat slightly so the aubergine can get a bit of colour.
Once the aubergine flesh has mixed well into the mince, scoop out spoonfuls of the mince mixture into the hollowed out aubergine shells. Pushing and flattening out as you go.
Using a teaspoon, dollop the ricotta mixture on top, also smoothing out and spreading it across the top.
Once the aubergines are filled and covered with the ricotta topping, sprinkle generously with grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and a dash of paprika.
Put them back in the oven to crisp up the topping and add some colour. About 20 minutes.
Tip: For a speedy mid-week meal, just defrost some pre-cooked ordinary mince that you made in advance.
Recipe reprinted with permission of Jax of the Bushveld. To see more recipes, please click here.
To receive quick and convenient weekday recipes, join our Easy Weekday Meals mailing list, and for up-to-date trending food, restaurant and wine news subscribe to our Editor’s Weekly newsletter.