You’ll probably notice a few recipes that utilises marrows… The fact of the matter is because the prolonged rain at the beginning of the year followed by the sustained heat, we’ve found we’ve had a glutton of pretty much everything.
For the Bechemel sauce
1 Bay leaf
5 Whole black peppercorns
Half a small onion
20g Plain flour
1 Small carrot (peeled and cut lengthways)
1 Small leak
1 teaspoon of English mustard
For the tomato and marrow bolognese filling
1 Medium to large marrow (peeled, hollowed and diced into chunks)
1 1/2 Onion (roughly chopped)
5 Button mushrooms (roughly chopped)
1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
Sprinkle of mixed herbs
Healthy glug of Worcester sauce
Squirt of tomato ketchup (optional)
For the bechemel sauce
1. First place the milk in a saucepan and add the bay leaf, peppercorns, carrot and onion.
2.Then place it over a low heat and keep it on simmering point, which will take around 5 minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the milk into a jug using a siv. The onion and carrot should par-boiled or soft-ish. Keep hold of these leftover ingredients, we’ll need these later.
3. Wash the pan and melt the butter gently – don’t over-heat it or let it brown, as this will affect the colour and flavour of the sauce. As soon as the butter melts – add the flour and, over a medium heat and using a small pointed wooden spoon, stir quite vigorously until this is a smooth paste.
4. Now begin adding the infused milk a little at a time – about 1fl oz/25ml first of all and stir again vigorously. Then, when this milk is incorporated, add the next amount and continue incorporating each bit of liquid before you add the next. When about half the milk is in, switch to a balloon whisk and start adding large amounts of milk, but always whisking briskly. Your reward will be a smooth, glossy, creamy sauce.
5. Now turn the heat down to its lowest setting and let the sauce cook for 5 minutes, whisking from time to time. While that’s happening, taste and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper. If you wish to keep the sauce warm, all you do is pour it into a warmed jug and cover the surface with cling-film to stop a skin from forming, then place the jug in a pan of barely simmering water.
For the tomato and marrow filling (pre-heat oven to 200c/180c fan/gas 6)
1. Fry off the onion along with the mushroom, carrot and marrow until soft. If find the marrow turning a little hard, add a splash of boiling water and increase the heat.
2. Add the chop tomatoes, mixed herbs, Worcester sauce, ketchup and puree, turn the heat down to a simmering level and simmer for around 20 minutes.
3. In a long baking dish, evenly spread the tomato filling, followed by the pasta sheets, followed by an even layer of Bechemel sauce. Repeat this pattern until the dish is filled. Be sure to finish with Bechemel sauce and a decent layer of cheese.
4. Bake in the oven for between 40 – 60 minutes or until the pasta is soft and the cheese is golden brown.
Serve with a large glass of red!