The puff of bechamel, the silky, slippery eggplant, the fact that you can make this gluten-free and/or plant-based with a few simple changes, finding shortcuts like cooking the onion in the preheating pan and using fresh pasta sheets instead of dried to save on washing up … all of these make this recipe a perfect bookend, and a whole lot of reasons to loosen your shoulders. As with most slow-cooks, it’s a weekend project that only tastes better by Monday night (see Tips).
Serves 4-6, plus leftovers
1 brown onion, finely diced
3–4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive…