Il Qarabali Mimli ta’ Aunty Phyl


As a kid, I grew up with my aunt living next door to us.
My grandma lived with them, but I don’t have that many
recollections of her
except that she too loved cooking and that
she was a great cook.
I suppose my aunt learnt how to make
qarabali from her. I used
to love the crunchy, slightly charred top,
which as you can see
from my picture I still do 🙂  You can
obviously take them out
before they get to that stage if you don’t
like them so dark.

The recipe is very simple and am so happy that it is totally
gluten free, so am not missing out on one of my favorite dishes!

Ingredients and how to …

4 largish marrows
350-400 grams minced beef (you can also use a mixture of beef
and pork, there is no hard and fast rule!)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Tomato paste (you can calculate whilst mixing as to how much)

Beef stock – make sure it is Gluten Free, I use the granules
2 eggs, beaten

Parmesan cheese, grated, approx 4 tbsp + extra 2 tbsps
Olive oil for frying
Dash of red wine

Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp Gluten Free packaged breadcrumbs
Italian Mixed Herbs (I bring mine up from Malta ironically! 🙂 )
Fresh Rosemary, snipped

Now the following are all optional but I guess this is what makes
them taste different  :-

1 to 2 tsps curry powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp (or more in my case!) chilli flakes (people who know me
know I love very hot food! 😀 )
Some freshly chopped parsley

If you will be making potatoes with the qarabali, calculate around
two or three potatoes per person or depends on how big the
spuds are, or how hungry your crowd is!  🙂
1 onion sliced thinly
White wine

OK here is how ….

First thing is to prepare the marrows. I usually split one in two,
slicing off the stalks, i.e. two halves for each person. Then you
out the inside. Chop that finely.

Sautee the onion and garlic until translucent and then add the
minced meat.  I am not living in Malta at the moment but if I
were there, I would substitute some of the mince with equal
amount of Maltese sausage.  So I had to leave that out. 🙁

When meat starts to brown, add the flesh you scooped out and
mix that in. At this stage, I add the curry if using, the chilli and
the mixed spice. I also add the stock granules, the tomato puree
and a dash of wine. If it is too dry, add a splash of warm water.
It has
to be a bit dry, not too much though.

Leave it to simmer slowly till meat is completely cooked.  Then
add the beaten eggs, the parsley and the Parmesan cheese,
mixing well.

Use this mixture to fill the empty marrow shells.

If you are making roast potatoes too, then slice thickly and place
in a dish large enough to hold the marrows too. Layer them with
the sliced onion. Put the marrows on top.

Now, last two things you got to do before you pop this lovely dish
the oven.

In a small bowl, add the remaining grated cheese, the Gluten Free
breadcrumbs and a dash of garlic pepper (optional) or freshly
ground pepper and a pinch of Italian Mixed Herbs. Mix and
sprinkle on top of the stuffing.

Finally, the last thing is to add some stock granules to some
boiling water, a couple tbsp of white wine and a grinding of
pepper.  Pour this in the dish to come up to 1 inch of the dish.
Drizzle with some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, snipped
Rosemary and
in it goes, for about an hour till the tops become
crusty and the
potatoes nicely roasted!

Hope you enjoy this easy and lovely dish!

Feeds 4 🙂









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