Sunday, 14 October 2012

Oh-so-tasty bolognese-stuffed marrow

I have to admit: when my stepfather gave me an enormous marrow from his vegetable plot, I didn't know quite what to do with it. Luckily I had a friend staying at the time and, using a tried-and-tested family recipe, she transformed the monstrous marrow into a cheesy bolognese-filled delight...

Filled with a rich meaty sauce and topped with bubbling golden cheese, this was delicious; a fantastic alternative to lasagne for people trying to eat more vegetables (or for those following a gluten-free diet). Served with a side salad and a bottle (or two) of red wine, it fed four of us easily.


1 enormous marrow
1 pack lean minced beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
Squeeze tomato puree
Squirt of ketchup, to taste (cheating, but it really does taste good!)
Splash red wine
Garlic, crushed
Dried herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pack grated mozzarella cheese

Pre-heat oven at 180C.

Fry the mince and chopped onions in a large frying pan. Add the can of chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic, and dried herbs, and simmer for around 20 minutes, adding the tomato puree, ketchup, and red wine as you go. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare your marrow. Slice in two lengthways, and hollow out, leaving about an inch of marrow flesh around the hollow.

Mix a handful of cheese into the bolognese, then scoop the mixture into the marrow. Hopefully there should be room for all the mince - otherwise you could use the rest in another vegetable (see below for my stuffed peppers variation).

Sprinkle a generous amount of grated mozzarella on top of the marrow halves, and place in the oven at 180C for 45 minutes.

As you can see....there was nothing left!

And for dessert, we used the cheese board my great-aunt gave me last Christmas (the side drawer is pretty nifty, no?)


The stuffed marrow was so tasty, my boyfriend and I wanted to have it again a few weeks later. However, enormous marrows are surprisingly difficult to source in your local supermarket, so I had to use a substitute: red peppers.

Bolognese stuffed peppers are a great alternative for when you can't find marrow, and the plus-side (as well as being easier to prepare) is that they only take 15 minutes to cook.

Slice your red peppers into two, empty the seeds and pith from the centre, and spoon the bolognese mixture into the hollow. Top with grated cheese, and place at the top of a pre-heated oven at 180C for 15 minutes. And you're done!