1 medium eggplant Olive oil for coating eggplant 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 large garlic clove, minced 1 large onion, chopped 1 small carrot, chopped 1 celery stalk, chopped One 15 ounce can plum tomatoes 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Pinch of sugar Pinch of cinnamon 3/4 cup aborio rice 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter 3 Tablespoons gf flour 1-1/2 cups milk Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or butter a 8"x8" baking dish.
Cut eggplant into 1/2" slices crosswise. Place on a baking sheet; sprinke and toss with olive oil to coat.
Bake for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
In a large, heavy skillet heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat. When hot, add garlic, onions, carrot and celery. Cook and stir for about 10 minutes or until vegetables soften. Add tomatoes and juice to skillet, breaking up tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, sugar and cinnamon, stirring to blend. Simmer for 30 minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, add a little water.
Add rice to boiling water and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and return to pan.
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons butter and saffron. Melt in microwave and add parsley. Add saffron mixture to rice and blend well.
In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add flour, stir and remove from heat.
In a separate saucepan, warm milk to just below boiling.
Return butter/flour mixture to low heat. Add milk all at once the butter/flour mixture, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thickened. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg; remove from heat.
Coat bottom of baking dish with a little red sauce and then add half of the rice mixture. Top rice mixture with half of the eggplant and half of the red sauce. Repeat layers and finish with bechamel sauce.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.