For the vegetables:
Slice the potatoes, wash in cold water, drain & fry in sunflower oil until golden. Leave to one side.
Slice the aubergines length wise, sprinkle with salt and leave for half an hour to remove bitterness, then wash & dry.
Now you have 2 options: either fry the aubergines until golden -in olive oil-bearing in mind that they will soak up huge amounts of oil, or lay the aubergine slices on a baking tray, brush with olive oil and grill until browned, turning them over once the one side is ready & oiling again. Then leave to one side with the potatoes. Another option is to also add courgettes or replace the aubergines with courgettes. The courgettes, if using, are cooked in exactly the same way.
For the vegetables:
Place a deep saucepan over high heat and add the olive oil.
Coarsely chop the onion and add to pan. Fry on low heat until transluscent.
Finely chop the garlic and add to pan along with thyme and sugar. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened.
Add the minced meat and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until golden brown.
Add the tomato paste diluted with the wine.
Add the chopped tomatoes, the spices & water to cover, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 -40 minutes – until the sauce thickens.
Remove from heat and add the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
For the béchamel sauce:
Place a pan over medium heat.
Add the butter and let it melt.
Add the flour and mix – cook on a low heat for 2 minutes.
Add the milk in small batches while continuously whisking so that no lumps form.
As soon as the béchamel sauce thickens and bubbles start to form on the surface, turn down the heat and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, 100 g parmesan and 3 egg yolks. Whisk thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 180* C (350* F) fan.
In a 25 x 30cm baking pan (medium to large), spread a layer of potatoes, and next a layer of aubergines. Season in between layers & sprinkle grated parmesan.
Spread the minced meat over the vegetables.
Add another layer of potatoes & aubergines.
Cover with the béchamel sauce, spreading it evenly and sprinkle with grated parmesan or any hard white cheese & grated nutmeg.