Marrow was a totally new discovery for me when I arrived to Malta… for me it looked like a zucchini or a courgette. But I was told that it was a marrow! So I had to get in touch with our good friend “Google” and find out more about it. And I learned that Zucchini and Courgette are the same thing but in different languages and that Marrows are the same vegetable that was left to grow to a larger size. So the main difference is the level of maturity in which the vegetable is harvested. You learn something everyday 🙂 Do you disagree or have you heard a different version? Let me know please… I’m only quoting “Google” 🙂
Now I know that I’m dealing with a larger courgette (which is what we call it in my country). But I’m also dealing with a shape that I’m not so used to. Back home, we usually find it shaped like a cucumber and not so much on a round shape. But here we easily find them in both shapes and apparently the round ones are mostly used for stuffing.
So, here I am trying a Maltese dish – Baked Stuffed Marrows 🙂 I’m not sure how traditional is my recipe. I found it on www.ilovefood.com.mt but I don’t know from whom is the recipe. Let me know what you think of my first attempt on a Maltese classic 🙂
Baked Stuffed Marrows
- 6 round marrows
- 750 g minced beef meat
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup tomato passata
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tbsp grated cheese
- 1/2 cup parsley chopped
- 1 beaten egg
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the potatoes
- 2 large onions sliced
- 4 garlic cloves sliced
- 8 potatoes sliced
- 2 cups of water
- Fennel seeds to taste
- Preheat the oven - 200C
- In a sauce pan, fry the chopped onion and when soft, add the cinnamon and mixed spice. Mix together and then add the minced meat and garlic. Fry until the meat is browned.
- Mix in the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the tomato passata and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
- Let it simmer for 20 min. After this time, turn the heat off and let it cool for a bit.
- In another pan, heat oil and fry the sliced onions and garlic. Add the sliced potatoes, mix together and fry for a few more minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and add the 2 cups of water. Cover and cook on low heat till the potatoes are half cooked.
- Remove the bay leaves from the meat stuffing. Add the grated cheese, chopped parsley and beaten egg. Mix it well to combine all the ingredients.
- Cut the stem from the marrows and take the inside pulp using a teaspoon - I also cut a little slice from the bottom ,carefully not to open any holes. This will help the marrows to stay up straight when plaiting it You can discard the pulp or use it on the meat stuffing - I have removed the pulp from the marrows while the meat was still cooking and added it to the mixture
- Fill the marrows with the prepared stuffing.
- Spread the prepared potatoes and onions on a baking tray. Sprinkle some fennel seeds on top.
- Over the potatoes, place the stuffed marrows. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the marrows.
- Bake in the oven until the marrows are cooked through (approximately 30 to 40 min)