A marrow is a courgette that's been left to keep growing – you can use either for this recipe. Stuff this summer veg with a tomato and beef mince mixture for a filling meal
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4tbsp olive oil
- 1onion, finely chopped
- 1carrot, finely chopped
- 1celery stick, finely chopped
- 400g beef mince
- 2garlic cloves, crushed
- 2tbsp tomato purée
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 400ml beef stock
- 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1marrow or 2 large courgettes
- basil, torn
- 150g mature cheddar
Step 1Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, and fry the onion, carrot and celery over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until really tender and lightly golden. Add the beef mince, turn up the heat to high and break it up with a spoon. Fry until the mince has browned and any liquid has evaporated. Stir in the garlic and fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the tomato purée and cook until it darkens slightly. Add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock and balsamic, and season well. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium, put on a lid and cook for 50 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened slightly. Simmer with the lid off for 10 minutes to thicken further.
Step 2While the ragu is simmering, heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Cut the marrow in half lengthways and use a dessert spoon to hollow out the middles, discarding the seeds and spongy flesh. You should be left with about 3cm of flesh attached to the skins. Transfer to a large shallow roasting tin, and drizzle over the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Rub into the marrows all over, including the skins, and season well. Roast, well spaced apart, for 20-25 minutes or until the marrows are just starting to soften and look slightly translucent.
Step 3Stir most of the basil into the ragu and generously spoon into the marrow boats. You may not need all the filling but it freezes really well. Scatter over the cheese and roast for another 25 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbling, and when you press a knife into the marrow at a few points it meets little resistance and is very soft. Scatter with the remaining basil and serve with garlic bread, if you like.