Qarabaghli Mimli - Stuffed Maltese Marrows or Zucchini

Maltese marrows can be stuffed with either a ricotta or meat mixture, for a delicious traditional dish:

Ingredients:

800 gr qara baghli – medium to large round marrows or zucchini;
200 gr ricotta OR 200 gr. minced pork
2 eggs (beaten);
1 or 2 tablespoons good grated Parmesan or Grana Padana;
2-3 onions (sliced);
50g butter and a little olive oil;
2 tsps good quality tomato puree or tin of chopped tomatoes;
2 tsps sugar;


Method:

  1. Cut a slice from each end of the marrow so that they can stand flat and keep the top slice as a lid. Cut large marrows in half. Remove and reserve the pulp.
  2. Ricotta version: Beat the rikotta till smooth and add the beaten eggs, the grated cheese and salt and pepper. Meat version: sauté an onion in olive oil and when it begins to soften, add the minced pork and sauté until begins to brown.
  3. Fill the marrows with this mixture bearing in mind that the eggs will expand so do not over fill. Place the marrow lids on top of the mixture and set aside.
  4. In a large and wide saucepan fry the sliced onions and the qarabaghli pulp in the butter and olive oil. Add a couple of tablespoons water when the onion has softened and turned slightly golden.
  5. Place the stuffed marrows on top of this mixture, cover tightly and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Remove the cooked marrows and lay in a dish and keep warm while you finish the sauce. Add the tomato puree or tinned tomatoes to the onion mixture, simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and pour over the marrows. Serve very hot. Little waste goes on in traditional Maltese cookery – note that even the pulp is used!