This recipe for stuffed baby marrow makes a delicious meatless meal. Before being stuffed, the flesh is scooped out and cooked in vegetable stock with tomatoes and peppers.
TO CORE THE MARROW Cut the top off the marrow a little bit below the stem. Remove the base of the marrow by cutting off just a little from the bottom.
To core the marrow: - Measure the length of the marrow using the corer, leaving about 1 cm at its base. Put your thumb on the corer as a marker for the length of the marrow. Make sure not to move your thumb as this way you can be sure not to core the marrow too deeply. - Insert the tip of the corer into the top of the marrow and form a circle while turning the marrow and the corer. The circle should not be too wide otherwise when you cook the marrow the stuffing will come out. - Insert the corer into the marrow up to your thumb. - Using both hands turn the corer and the marrow 2 full circles. Remove the corer and the inside of the marrow that comes with it. You need to slowly move the corer up and down and side to side to release the marrow from the bottom so it comes out with the corer. - Re-insert the corer into the marrow and start scraping the sides with its edge. This will loosen any of the leftover core and it will come out when you remove the corer. Repeat the scraping and emptying until you feel the insides of the marrow are smooth. Careful not to enlarge the hole at the top of the marrow. - Rinse inside and outside each marrow and place upside down on a plate to allow the water to drip down.
TO MAKE THE STUFFING Fry the pine seeds in sunflower oil on high heat - keep moving them around so they don’t burn. Then remove the pine seeds from the oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Now, using a new pan, fry the chopped onions in sunflower oil on high heat until translucent.
Add the minced meat, salt, black pepper and Arabic mixed spice. Constantly stir the meat while it is cooking to break apart any clumps that form. You will notice water will be released from the meat, don’t let it all evaporate. Once the meat is brownish, add the fried pine seeds and mix, then set aside and let cool.
TO MAKE THE TOMATO SAUCE Now it’s time to prepare the tomato sauce while the stuffing is cooling. Start by frying the sliced onions in the sunflower oil on high heat until translucent.
Add the chopped tomato and mix, then the water and tomato paste and mix again. Let it come to a boil, add salt, black pepper and pomegranate molasses (dibs rumman) and stir. Now cover, put the heat on low and let the tomato sauce simmer gently.
TO STUFF THE MARROW Stuff the marrow while the tomato sauce is simmering. Start by taking some of the minced meat mixture using your fingers and stuff it gently into the marrow. Make sure to lightly tap the base of the marrow while you do this to avoid trapping air inside. You can use the long end of a small spoon to make sure the mixture goes in properly. Don’t stuff the marrow all the way to the top so the stuffing doesn’t come loose in the sauce when you cook it. After each marrow is stuffed wipe off any meat mixture on the outside and set on a plate. Any leftover stuffing can be frozen and used later.
Gently drop the stuffed marrow into the simmering tomato sauce. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat, then lower to medium and let cook covered for 30 minutes, followed by 10 minutes on low heat. Finally, uncover and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Note: Even on low heat the tomato sauce should still be lightly boiling.