Hidden treasures in February’s kitchen!

I found a couple of marrows lurking in the tool shed – our store place for the harvested fruit and veg over the winter.  Unfortunately, one of them had started to rot so couldn’t be used but it spurred me on to use the other one up before it went the same way!

Marrow has quite a bland taste that can cope with plenty of spices and herbs. As a child we would enjoy it stuffed with a bolognaise style filling but for this dish I’ve sliced the marrow into thick pieces and baked it with a rich, spicy Italian style sauce

Italian baked marrow

This sauce is based on a traditional Italian Amatriciana sauce which is usually served with pasta. I tend to make a double batch and freeze half for use another day. I’s thick and rich with just the right amount of heat!

1 marrow

Glug oil

150g pack diced smoked pancetta

1 small onion, chopped small

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ red chili, diced

120ml dry white wine

2 cans chopped tomatoes

Teaspoon sugar

1 ball of mozzarella, grated


  • Heat a glug of oil in a frying pan and fry the pancetta for about 5 minutes until starting to crisp and brown
  • Add the onion and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a minute or so then pour in the white wine. Turn the heat up and bubble until the wine has reduced by half
  • Pour in the tomatoes and add a little sugar. Bring to a simmer then leave to cook for about 30 minutes until thickened and rich
  • Whilst the sauce is cooking you can prepare the marrow. Slice into 6cm thick slices and scoop out most of the fibrous seedy middle. Leave a little at the bottom to form a base.
  • Spead a little oil on the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish and lay on the marrow slices. Pop into a preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Spoon the sauce into the middle of the marrow slices, cover with foil and bake for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil, scatter over the mozzarella and pop back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese has melted and turning golden brown. Check that the marrow is tender by pushing a skewer into the flesh.

Serve with garlic bread and some more sauce on the side. There will be some juices in the dish – either spoon them over the baked marrow or save a bit of garlic bread to dunk!