Beef et Spaghetti Surprise


serves 4
150 ml (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 aubergines (eggplants)
350 g (12 oz) 3 cups minced (ground) beef
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp tomato puree (paste)
400 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chopped fresh marjoram or oregano or 1/2 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
60 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup stoned (pitted) black olives, sliced
1 green, red or yellow (bell) pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
175 g (6 oz) dried spaghetti
115 g (4 oz) 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
fresh oregano or parsley sprigs, to garnish


1. Brush a 20 cm (8 inch) loose-based round cake tin (pan) with oil, line the base with baking parchment and brush with oil.

2. Slice the aubergines (eggplants). Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the aubergines (eggplant), in batches, for 3-4 minutes or until browned on both sides. Add more oil, as necessary. Drain on kitchen paper (paper towels).

3. Put the minced (ground) beef, onion and garlic in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add the tomato puree (paste), tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, marjoram or oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the olives and (bell) pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes.

4. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and 1 tbsp oil and cook for 8-10 minutes until tender, but still firm to the bite. Drain and turn the spaghetti into a bowl. Add the meat mixture and cheese and toss with 2 forks.

5. Arrange aubergine (eggplant), slices over the base and up the sides of the tin (pan). Add the spaghetti, pressing down firmly, and then cover with the rest of the aubergine (eggplant) slices. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 for 40 minutes. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then invert on to a serving dish. Discard the baking parchment.

Garnish with the fresh herbs and serve.

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